RON PAUL: Federal Reserve Blows More Bubbles
Dr. Ron Paul
Last week at its regular policy-setting meeting, the Federal Reserve announced it would double down on the policies that have failed to produce anything but a stagnant economy. It was a disappointing, but not surprising, move.
The Fed affirmed that it is prepared to increase its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities if things donâ€™t start looking up. But actually the Fed has already been buying more than the announced $85 billion per month. Between February and March, the Fedâ€™s securities holdings increased $95 billion. From March to April, they increased $100 billion. In all, the Fed has pumped more than a half trillion dollars into the economy since announcing its latest round of â€śquantitative easingâ€ť (QE3) in September 2012.
Although many were up in arms when the Fed said it would buy $600 billion in government debt outright for the previous round, QE2, all seems quiet about the magnitude of QE3 because it doesnâ€™t come with huge up-front total price tag. But by yearâ€™s end the Fedâ€™s balance sheet could hit $4 trillion.
With no recovery in sight, whereâ€™s all this money going? It is creating bubbles. Bubbles in the housing sector, the stock market, and government debt. The national debt is fast approaching $17 trillion, with the Fed monetizing most of the newly issued debt. The stock market has been hitting record highs for the past two months as investors seek to capitalize on the Fedâ€™s easy money. After all, as long as the Fed keeps the spigot open, nominal profits are there for the taking. But this is a house of cards. Eventually, just like in 2008-2009, the market will discipline the bad actions of the Fed and seek to find the real normal.