How the Federal Reserve will lose control of inflation

Over at Economicpolicyjournal, Robert Wenzel is reporting that the Fed is seriously considering another round of quantitative  easing (QE). The reason they’re considering it is that their gauge of inflation, a formula which changes on a whim depending on whether they like the result of their calculations or not, is still low, so there is room to print more money without affecting prices too much.

The reason inflation is low is that in times of economic slowdown, debt becomes liquidated. Debt that once represented dollars becomes nothing. So let’s say Jay owes Mike $10,000 that Mike lent to Jay to start a business in a time of economic boom, say in 2007. Jay got his business off the ground just before the 2008 crash. Mike owns $10,000 worth of Jay’s debt, and as long as the economy is going, that debt is still worth $10,000 because the debt will be paid back. So that $10,000 still exists in the economy in the form of Jay’s debt.

Now the crash happens. Jay’s business fails. He can’t pay back the $10,000. So the value of his debt goes to zero. $10,000 is erased from the economy. The amount of money in the economy goes down, the value of the dollar goes up. Prices go down, so printing money will keep the prices stable.

Problem is, when there is less money in the economy because the Jays in the world can’t pay their debts, the Mikes of the world have less money, so keeping prices stable while people lose money is equivalent to raising prices while people have the same amount of money. Either way they can’t afford to buy as much with the money they have.

The economy naturally wants to deflate now because people cannot pay their debts. And the Fed keeps pulling it the other way and trying to inflate it. What you have here is a massive tug of war, and someone is going to win. That someone is the Fed, because as much as debt can be liquidated and money erased from the economy, the Fed can always, always just print more.

What will happen? After some round of QE or another, probably after the Euro collapses, gold and silver will suddenly become the only preserver of value that exists anymore. Dollars will be erased from the economy, which should push the value of the dollar up, but the Fed will have printed so many of them that it can no longer increase in value. With no Euro, everyone will pour into gold and silver simultaneously.

That’s when those who own gold and silver will escape with their wealth, and those holding paper will be in serious, serious trouble.

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