Tag Archives: Bernanke

The Bernanke Ka-Put

9/19/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Most of the world who bothers to keep up with monetary matters, as we at The Mint are tasked with doing, have now digested and “evacuated” (to use the medical terminology) the jest of the FED’s last communication to the world.  Amongst other things, the FED’s public image, Ben Bernanke, indicated

Ben Bernanke Testimony
Bernanke’s Put will leave a painful mark on household budgets

that the all knowing Federal Reserve Bank, protector of the US currency and guarantor of full employment for all, will take the following actions:

1.  The FED will keep the FED funds rate target zero bound through 2015.  Since the FED funds rate has been zero bound for over three years now, the FED has taken to increasing the year at the end of this statement, in this case 2015, since they are reluctant to target a negative interest rate.  Think of the year as just another decimal point in this absurd equation.

2.  They will take Quantitative Easing (QE) to a whole new level.  Starting with $40 Billion in free funds to holders of mortgage notes and other rehypothecated asset backed (the astute will note the oxymoron) trash each month, for the rest of their existence.

This is not a drill.

The FED has tipped their hand so far that even most bankers (save Morgan Stanley) and government officials now understand what is going on.  We are witnessing what will come to be known as the Bernanke Put, or Ka-Put, as we now refer to it.

As Ira Epstein eloquently put it in his most recent Gold Report:  “Basically, the Fed threw the kitchen sink at the market.”

The Bernanke Ka-Put, taken together with the recent comments by Mario Draghi of the ECB and the ruling of the German High Court, which further sealed the Euro currency’s inflationary demise, leave no room for doubt as to what the MO of the world’s Central Banks is.

What does it mean?  The FED will print money to prop up the system no matter what happens.  Rampant price inflation and intermittent panics (due to the malinvestment which is occurring as a result of the FED’s money printing) must now be assumed in any financial model and household budget.

Additionally, contingency planning, with the assumptions of the disruption of services and supply lines, must now take place.  Malinvestment means that things will begin to “not work” (an understatement, to be sure) in the real world as a result of the financial engineering being practiced by the FED and every other Central Bank and banking cartel on the planet.

Again, This is not a drill.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 19, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.77
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.57
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.40
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.77%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,771 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,609
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,470,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,103,400,000,000

The Fiscal Cliff, the moronic Redux of the 2011 Debt Ceiling debacle

9/18/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Today we turn our focus to an event which, like a sequel of a bad movie, has been widely ignored.  The dreaded Fiscal Cliff.  For those who do not recall, the Fiscal Cliff is the moronic sequel of the 2011 flop “The Debt Ceiling Debacle.”  You can read our review of the first film here:

US Debt Ceiling Vote to Ignite Armageddon in Bond Markets?

Most of the actors in the first film, Obama, Boehner, Reid, and Bernanke, are returning for the sequel, although there are rumors that Obama may be replaced by Mitt Romney if Romney is chosen over Obama in a fan poll scheduled in November.  Tim Geithner, who did a poor job acting as the voice of reason in the original film, is expected back as well, albeit in a severely diminished role.  His appearance in the film is largely contingent upon Obama winning the fan poll.

The sequel picks up the story where the original left off with Bernanke, Reid, and Boehner accelerating their vehicle towards a cliff, presumably to plunge into the canyon a la Thelma and Louise.  The sequel begins with a cloud of dust, which eventually settles to reveal that the trio has abruptly stopped the car just before taking the plunge.  After a collective sigh of relief, they hold a meeting and decide the following:

1.  Instead of plunging off of this cliff, they will look for a larger cliff to plunge off of somewhere down the road,

2.  Bernanke will pay for the gas with the money he stole from US Dollar holders and,

3.  Rather than taking the plunge themselves, they will force Obama and Geithner, or Romney and Geithner’s replacement, to drive off the cliff.

The fan poll in November should serve to make this moronic sequel somewhat interesting, but either way, the winner will be handcuffed to the wheel with the accelerator at full throttle.

Our advice?  Don’t bother watching this moronic redux.  Like the Expendables 2, it is a desperate attempt by the actors to cash in on past glories.  Unlike the Expendables 2,  anyone living in the US will need to purchase an advance ticket to NOT see the Fiscal Cliff.  Tickets can be found at your local coin shop.  Simply trade you US dollars and bonds for gold and silver and you can ignore this catastrophe.

Hurry, there is precious little time before the Fiscal Cliff’s December 31 debut.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 18, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.78
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.22
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.39
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.68%

FED Target Rate:  0.15%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,769 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.6%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,552  
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,470,800,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,103,400,000,000

Inflation set to Bloom, Bernanke Resorts to Desperate Pleas to Raise the Debt Ceiling

6/14/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The Rose Festival has dominated the city’s waterfront park for the past two weeks.  Carnival rides have been up since Memorial Day weekend and an assortment of ships from the US and Canadian Navy (affectionately known as the “Canavy”) arrived late last week.  After no fewer than four parades, the annual Dragon Boat Races rounded out the festivities.

The Festival usually marks the beginning of summer, which is defined as the absence of rain for four delightful months, here in Portland.  While the rain seems to have done its part, the weather remains colder than one would expect.

This year was the first year that anyone can remember the roses not being in full bloom during most of the festival.  An uncharacteristically cold spring has caused many of the plants to hold back here from showing off their blooms.  When they do finally bloom, it tends to happen quickly and spectacularly.

For some reason the plight of the roses has us worrying about inflation.  We have been certain that inflation is on the horizon for some time now, and while there has been an uncomfortable rise in food and gasoline prices, it is hardly the degree of inflation that we had been anticipating.

Are we early or just plain wrong about inflation?  The question is troubling.  What is certain is that many of the things that we have speculated would happen are coming to pass.  Most significantly, the US Government appears to be approaching a moment of truth regarding its dire finances.  The simple question of whether or not to raise the debt ceiling has opened a Pandora’s box of questions about the nation’s spending priorities.

Now the 2012 election cycle is beginning and US lawmakers have rushed out the door to the campaign trail and have left Pandora’s box wide open on the Capitol floor with its questions racing about the room:

Should we cut entitlements?

Enact more economic stimulus?

Will the Government really go bankrupt on August 2nd?

Is the activity on Twitter accounts really open to the public?

With the national political circus about to go into full swing, any hope of a serious discussion about a realistic budget or debt ceiling is gone.  What we are now left with are desperate pleas for action from none other than Ben Bernanke, the ace lobbyist for the nation’s largest banks.

Today’s plea was made by Bernanke at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s appropriately titled annual conference: “The Debt Ceiling, Fiscal Plans, and Market Jitters, Where Do We Go From Here?

Mr. Bernanke, in his classic, diplomatic style, told the Republican leadership in attendance that he appreciated what they were trying to do in trying to get the nation to live within its means, but that their use of the debt ceiling as a hostage was not an appropriate tool for the job.  Instead, he advocates deficit reduction goals which trigger automatic cuts if they are not met.

Leading Lobbyist for the Banking Sector

The United States is one of the few countries with a congressionally mandated debt ceiling.  Contrary to Mr. Bernanke’s belief (which we must say defies logic), the debt ceiling is the perfect tool to use if a lawmaker wants to put an end to out of control spending but doesn’t have the time to gain consensus for a reasonable budget plan.  It is the ultimate way to “trigger automatic cuts.”

Perceptive readers will note that what Mr. Bernanke’s proposes is the same fiscal spending control model that has worked spectacularly in Europe. Just ask the Greeks!

Still, the question remains, where is the inflation?  Our simple analysis led us to believe that under current circumstances the FED would print money to give both to its member banks and to the US Treasury until things either got better or the dollar was completely worthless in exchange for goods.  Our money is on the latter passing before the former.

It now appears that the US government has temporarily thrown a wrench in those plans.

But this should come as no surprise.  As Henry Hazlitt so eloquently explains in his book Economics in One Lesson, government intervention in the economy always fails to achieve its desired ends and almost uncannily brings about results contrary to those that the government intended.

Would it not make sense, then, that the current efforts to produce price inflation turn out to be dramatic failures as well?

Then, long after the government has abandoned its inflationary policies, a tidal wave of cash will appear quickly and spectacularly, not unlike the rose blooms in Portland this year.

This inflation will occur when the US Government, whether on its own or under compulsion from the bond markets, turns its clumsy machinations towards austerity.  In other words, when it least wants or expects it.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email:  davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S.  If you enjoy or at least can stomach The Mint, please share us with your friends, family, and colleagues!

Key Indicators for Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,524 MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.25%
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,005,800,000,000 STARTING TO DRY UP?  NOT!

*See FED Perceived Economic Effect Rate Chart at bottom of blog.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.

72 Hour Call for June 7, 2011

Today’s Call:  NY Crude Oil to rise.  Currently $98.42.

Rationale:  Stocks of Oil tanker transporters are turning slightly higher which generally leads to an increase in the spot price of oil.  This, combined with the effects of Bernanke’s market soothing words today should push commodity prices more than stock prices.  This is the new trend, fresh money is moving into higher commodity prices which will eventually erode stock prices on a relative basis.

Result of Call for June 2, 2011:  10yr Bond Yield to fall (price to rise).  Currently 3.064%, Currently 3.042%.  Good Call. 

Calls to Date:  Good Calls: 26, Bad Calls: 18, Batting .591