I strongly recommend a blog article I found that does a pretty darn good job summarizing the world financial mess the US is in. I am adding a link in my new readers area to this summary. I also added The Burning Platform blog on my list of blogs on the right.
Below I quoted a couple of highlights. Please click on this link to read it in it entirely.
Quantitative Easing Catch 22
Ben Bernanke’s quantitative easing (dropping dollars from helicopters) is riddled with Catch-22 implications. Bernanke revealed his plan in his 2002 speech about deflation:
“The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at no cost.”
The expectations of most when reading Ben’s words were that his helicopters would drop the dollars across America. What he has done is load up his helicopters with trillions of dollars and circled above Wall Street for two years continuously dropping his load. Bernanke’s quantitative easing, which will triple the Fed’s balance sheet by June of 2011, began in earnest in early 2009. The price for a gallon on gasoline was $1.62. Today, it is $3.05, an 88% increase in two years. Gold was $814 an ounce. Today, it is $1,421 an ounce, a 61% increase in two years. In the last year, the prices for copper, silver, cotton, wheat, corn, coffee and other commodities have risen in price by 30% to 90%
Quantitative easing has been sold to the public as a way to avoid the terrible ravages of deflation. The fact is there are less jobs, lower wages, lower home prices, zero returns on bank deposits, higher fuel costs, higher food costs, higher real estate taxes, higher medical insurance premiums and huge jaw dropping bonuses for the bankers on Wall Street. Somehow the government has spun this toxic mix into a CPI which has resulted in fixed income senior citizens getting no increases in their pitiful Social Security payments for two years. You can judge where Ben’s Helicopters have dropped the $2 trillion. Quantitative easing has benefited only Wall Street bankers and the 1% wealthiest Americans. The $1.4 trillion of toxic mortgage backed securities on The Fed’s balance sheet are worth less than $700 billion. How will they unload this toxic waste? The Treasuries they have bought drop in value as interest rates rise. Quantitative easing’s Catch 22 is that it can never be unwound without destroying the Fed and the US economy.
The blog entry does read kinda like a rant, but the situation is complex, and does a good job of trying to touch base on the multiple moving areas.