Friday, August 17, 2012

The Federal Reserve Is Not Going To Save Us From The Great Depression That Is Coming

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered his annual address to Congress on Tuesday, and he did very little to give lawmakers much confidence about where the U.S. economy is heading. Bernanke told members of Congress that recent economic data points "suggest further weakness ahead" and that the Federal Reserve is projecting that the U.S. unemployment rate will remain at 7 percent or above all the way through the end of 2014. Now, it is important to keep in mind that Federal Reserve forecasts are almost always way too optimistic. The actual numbers almost always end up being much worse than what the Fed says they will be.

So if Bernanke is saying that the U.S. unemployment rate will be 7 percent or higher until the end of 2014, then what will the real numbers end up looking like? During his testimony, Bernanke seemed unusually gloomy about the direction of the U.S. economy. He seemed resigned to the fact that there really isn't that much more that the Federal Reserve can do to stimulate the U.S. economy. Yes, the Federal Reserve could try another round of quantitative easing, but the first two rounds did not really do that much to help. The truth is that the United States is absolutely drowning in debt, and when that debt bubble finally bursts the Federal Reserve is simply not going to be able to save us from the Great Depression that will happen as a result.

At this point, Bernanke appears to be in "cya" mode. For example, the following is from Bernanke's prepared remarks to Congress on Tuesday....

The second important risk to our recovery, as I mentioned, is the domestic fiscal situation. As is well known, U.S. fiscal policies are on an unsustainable path, and the development of a credible medium-term plan for controlling deficits should be a high priority. At the same time, fiscal decisions should take into account the fragility of the recovery. That recovery could be endangered by the confluence of tax increases and spending reductions that will take effect early next year if no legislative action is taken. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that, if the full range of tax increases and spending cuts were allowed to take effect--a scenario widely referred to as the fiscal cliff--a shallow recession would occur early next year and about 1-1/4 million fewer jobs would be created in 2013. These estimates do not incorporate the additional negative effects likely to result from public uncertainty about how these matters will be resolved. As you recall, market volatility spiked and confidence fell last summer, in part as a result of the protracted debate about the necessary increase in the debt ceiling. Similar effects could ensue as the debt ceiling and other difficult fiscal issues come into clearer view toward the end of this year. Read more.......

1 comment:

  1. Obama "Give me a hug Bo Bo Bernanke"

    Bernanke "I dont think so"


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