Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently announced that the Fed is abandoning “inflation targeting” where the Fed aims to maintain a price inflation rate of up to two percent. Instead, the Fed will allow inflation to remain above two percent to balance out periods of lower inflation. Powell’s announcement is not a radical shift in policy. It is an acknowledgment that the Fed is unlikely to reverse course and stop increasing the money supply anytime soon.
Following the 2008 market meltdown, the Fed embarked on an unprecedented money-creation binge. The result was historically low interest rates and an explosion of debt. Today total household debt and business debt are each over 16 trillion dollars. Of course, the biggest debtor is the federal government.
The explosion of debt puts pressure on the Fed to keep increasing the money supply in order to maintain low interest rates. An increase in rates to anything close to what they would be in a free market could make it impossible for consumers, businesses, and (especially) the federal government to manage their debt. This would create a major economic crisis.
For months, the Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media kept a morbid Covid-19 “death count” on their front pages and at the top of their news broadcasts. The coronavirus outbreak was all about the number of dead. The narrative was intended to boost governors like Cuomo in New York and Whitmer in Michigan, who turned their states authoritarian under the false notion that destroying people’s jobs, freedom, and lives would somehow keep a virus from doing what viruses always do: spread through a population until eventually losing strength and dying out.
The “death count” was always the headline.
But then all of a sudden early in June the mainstream media did a George Orwell and lectured us that it is all about “cases” and has always been all about “cases.” Death, and especially infection fatality rate, were irrelevant. Why? Because from the peak in April, deaths had decreased by 90 percent and were continuing to crash. That was not terrifying enough so the media pretended this good news did not exist.
In a sign that the Federal Reserve is growing increasingly desperate to jump-start the economy, the Fed’s Secondary Market Credit Facility has begun purchasing individual corporate bonds. The Secondary Market Credit Facility was created by Congress as part of a coronavirus stimulus bill to purchase as much as 750 billion dollars of corporate credit. Until last week, the Secondary Market Credit Facility had limited its purchases to exchange-traded funds, which are bundled groups of stocks or bonds.
The bond purchasing initiative, like all Fed initiatives, will fail to produce long-term prosperity. These purchases distort the economy by increasing the money supply and thus lowering interest rates, which are the price of money. In this case, the Fed’s purchase of individual corporate bonds enables select corporations to pursue projects for which they could not otherwise have obtained funding. This distorts signals sent by the market, making these companies seem like better investments than they actually are and thus allowing these companies to attract more private investment. This will cause these companies to experience a Fed-created bubble. Like all Fed-created bubbles, the corporate bond bubble will eventually burst, causing businesses to collapse, investors to lose their money (unless they receive a government bailout), and workers to lose their jobs.
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Just a week or so ago the mainstream media and thousands representing the “medical community” told us we must throw out the “stay-at-home” orders and go to the streets to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police. The Covid-19 virus will not bother people who are protesting this injustice, they said. The virus only attacks people leaving their homes to protest the stay-at-home orders.
Now, after thousands of businesses – many of them black-owned – have been reduced to rubble and innocent people in the inner cities no longer have anywhere to shop for the basic necessities of life, the mainstream media has backed off of its non-stop coverage of the protests. Suddenly last week they all simultaneously embraced a new fear story to terrify the masses: a “second wave” of coronavirus was among us. It was targeting those states that dared to “open up” their economies and begin a return to relatively normal lives.
It seems like only yesterday. Americans were denied the right to go to their churches. They were denied the right to visit their loved ones in the hospital. They were denied the right to open their businesses and go to work to provide for themselves and their families. They were denied the right to go to restaurants, to bars, to hair salons.
No laws were passed denying these rights. Even that would be illegal and immoral. But what happened was worse. They were denied these basic rights by governors, county judges, and even local mayors who used the coronavirus outbreak as an excuse to rule by decree. They stole power that was not theirs to take and wielded it at all levels to force America into three months of house arrest.
Then, in the midst of stay-at-home orders across the country, the same governors and local officials who locked Americans in their homes suddenly came around with their keys and threw open the doors. Suddenly not only was it OK to go out into the street, it was required to go out into the street!
A Fresno, California waffle restaurant dared to open its doors for business this weekend to the delight of a long line of customers, who waited up to two hours for the “privilege” of willingly spending their money in a business happy to serve them breakfast on Mother’s Day. This freedom of voluntary transaction is the core of what we used to call our free society. But in an America paralyzed by fear – ramped up by a mainstream media that churns out propaganda at a level unparalleled in history – no one is allowed to enjoy themselves.
Thankfully everyone carries a smartphone these days and can record and upload the frequent violations of our Constitutional liberties. In the case of the waffle restaurant, thanks to a cell phone video we saw the police show up in force and try to push through the crowd waiting outside. An elderly man who was next in line to enter was indignant, complaining that he had been waiting two hours to eat at the restaurant and was not about to step aside while the police shut down the place. The police proceeded to violently handcuff and arrest the man, dragging him off while his wife followed sadly behind him to the police car.
Last week the Federal Reserve announced it will keep interest rates at or near zero until the economy recovers from the government-imposed shutdown. Following this announcement, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urged Congress and the Trump administration to put aside any concerns about the deficit and spend whatever it takes to stimulate the economy and combat coronavirus.
The Federal Reserve previously announced it would make unlimited purchases of Treasury securities, thus encouraging Congress and the president to increase spending and debt. With some members of Congress talking about another multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill, and with President Trump proposing a two trillion dollars infrastructure plan as a way to get Americans back to work, it is obvious, and not surprising, that Congress and President Trump gleefully agree with Powell’s advice.
Increasing the purchase of federal debt is not the only action the Fed has taken in a desperate attempt to keep the economy afloat. Since the coronavirus lockdowns began in early March, the Fed has greatly expanded its balance sheet. The Federal Reserve has also launched an unprecedented program to “loan” money directly to businesses.
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In my first week in the House of Representatives in 1976, I cast one of the two votes against legislation appropriating funds for a swine flu vaccination program. A swine flu outbreak was then dominating headlines, so most in DC were frantic to “do something” about the virus.
Unfortunately, the hastily developed and rushed-into-production swine flu vaccine was not only ineffective, it was dangerous. Approximately 50 people who received the vaccine subsequently contracted Guillain-Barré syndrome, a potentially fatal form of paralysis. According to an expert with the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of Guillain-Barré was four times higher among those who received the swine flu vaccine than in the general population.
That sad history may soon repeat itself. Right now, governments and private industries are working to rapidly develop and deploy a coronavirus vaccine. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is a major funder of these efforts, has suggested everyone who receives a vaccine be issued a “digital certificate” proving he has been vaccinated. Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose record of wrong predictions makes him the Bill Kristol of epidemiology, also wants individuals to carry some proof they have been vaccinated.
From California to New Jersey, Americans are protesting in the streets. They are demanding an end to house arrest orders given by government officials over a virus outbreak that even according to the latest US government numbers will claim fewer lives than the seasonal flu outbreak of 2017-2018.
Across the US, millions of businesses have been shut down by “executive order” and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Americans, who have seen their real wages decline thanks to Federal Reserve monetary malpractice, are finding themselves thrust into poverty and standing in breadlines. It is like a horror movie, but it’s real.
Last week the UN Secretary General warned that a global recession resulting from the worldwide coronavirus lockdown could cause “hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths per year.” As of this writing, less than 170,000 have been reported to have died from the coronavirus worldwide.
Former Congressman Ron Paul has called on President Trump to fire Dr. Anthony Fauci, the administration’s senior scientific advisor on the coronavirus task force.
Paul, who has regularly expressed his reservations over allowing the government to enforce a lockdown, says Fauci needs to be stopped before he is given “total control” over the American people.
“He should be fired, but if you don’t do it in the literal sense, the people have to fire him,” Paul said, adding “They have to fire him by saying ‘he’s a fraud.’”
“The plan that they have is when things are getting back to normal, people can return to their work, and they do things, and go to the golf course if they get a stamp of approval,” Paul continued.
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