Today, U.S. GDP was reported for the fourth quarter 2012. The number shocked analysts and investors as it showed a contraction of 0.1%. Most had expected a modest expansion. The big question must be raised, with the Federal Reserve printing trillions of Dollars over the last few years, is this all the economy can muster? Is this as good as it gets?
Most average investors have no clue what I am eluding to. Let's take a closer look. Understand that the Federal Reserve's balance sheet has expanded by more than four trillion Dollars in the last few years. Also, understand that this expansion is from them printing money for their "quantitative easing". Lastly, understand that there are repercussions to printing trillions of Dollars. Mainly, dilution of the Dollar means higher food and energy prices (yet to come). Do you remember when one working average American father could support his whole family, save for retirement, buy a house and live well? Where did those days go? Now two parents must work to support their family and they are lucky if they can afford a house and have some savings left over to put towards retirement.
The scary thing about this is, the Federal Reserve printing policy over the last four years has not even hit food and energy prices in any major way. This will start in 2014 and be catastrophic. Food and energy will soar another 50% higher in price, possibly more. The sad aspect of this is that the average, hard working Americans spend a majority of their income on food and energy. The middle class will shrink further.
If the Federal Reserve policy of printing money to get us back into growth was working, trillions should have bought us the biggest expansion in history. Instead it bought us minor growth and 8% unemployment. At what point does the Federal Reserve admit they are wrong? Can they ever admit it? Most likely not.
To summarize, while I think the printing of trillions of new Dollars was and is idiotic, I would have still been semi alright with it if it bought us a great expansion. The fact that it has failed to generate any meaningful economic activity should shock and anger the masses. Not only is there no major economic recovery, but the coming future problems from this reckless printing of money will cause yet another economic collapse. Cheers!