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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Treasury bonds’

‘Federal Reserve Failure’ – Ron Paul’s 15 Nov Column

Posted by M. C. on November 16, 2021

Of course, most Republicans will continue opposing big increases in spending and debt … as long as a Democrat sits in the Oval Office. A Republican who becomes president will likely believe, as Dick Cheney has said, that President Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter. The difference between the parties is Republicans are less likely to raise taxes. So, no matter who controls Congress and the presidency, spending and debt can keep increasing.

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/fedfail?e=ff526b933a

Nov 15 – What do the Federal Reserve and neoconservatives have in common? They both refuse to admit that their policies — the neocons’ promotion of perpetual war and the Fed’s manipulation of the money supply — are complete failures, having produced the opposite of the promised results.

The latest example of the Federal Reserve engaging in Bill Kristol-like levels of denial is the Fed’s continued insistence that the return of 70s-style inflation is a “transitory” phenomenon resulting from the end of the lockdowns. The Fed has acknowledged the “transitory” inflation will last until at least 2022, yet it is still determined to keep interest rates at or near zero until the “jobs situation” improves.

To be fair, the Fed has finally announced plans to cut back on its money-pumping activities by reducing by 15 billion dollars a month its monthly purchase of 80 billion dollars of Treasury bonds and 40 billion dollars of mortgage-backed assets.

It is unlikely that the Fed will stick to its plans to “taper” its purchase of Treasury bonds. The Fed’s Treasury bond purchases enable the federal government to run up the debt without increasing taxes or paying punishingly high interest on the debt.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that by 2030 the federal debt interest cost will more than double to 829 billion dollars. That is more than the government spent on the military in 2020!

Despite the looming fiscal crisis, Congress is unlikely to cut spending anytime soon. Instead, Congress members are debating a 1.75 trillion dollars “social spending” plan, having just passed a 1.2 trillion dollars infrastructure bill. Contrary to the claims of President Biden and his allies, this new spending will not reduce inflation. What it will do is hasten and deepen the inevitable economic crisis caused by government overspending.

Of course, most Republicans will continue opposing big increases in spending and debt … as long as a Democrat sits in the Oval Office. A Republican who becomes president will likely believe, as Dick Cheney has said, that President Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter. The difference between the parties is Republicans are less likely to raise taxes. So, no matter who controls Congress and the presidency, spending and debt can keep increasing.

The Fed may also take dramatic action to keep interest rates low if other purchasers of federal debt demand higher interest rates in anticipation of future inflation. Such a situation would be a sign of what Ludwig von Mises called a crack-up boom. A crack-up boom occurs when the public anticipates continuing devaluation of the currency, causing them to factor future price increases into their economic plans.

Crack-up booms are preceded or accompanied by economic crises that can lead to the rise of authoritarianism. However, this is not inevitable. Important steps can be taken including cutting spending on militarism and corporate welfare, phasing out the entitlement and welfare programs, and auditing and ending the Fed. Those of us who know the truth should seek to convince our fellow citizens of the importance of restoring a limited, constitutional government that does not try to run the economy, run the world, or run our lives.



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Trump’s Trade War is Already Over — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2019

After that the real energy war starts as Russia completes Power of Siberia and begins pumping natural gas to China. And China directs its state oil companies to buy more oil from Iran while lowering its purchases from Saudi Arabia unless the Saudis accept Yuan for it.

That’s where the real leverage in this whole fiasco lies.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/05/12/trumps-trade-war-is-already-over/

Tom Luongo

May 12, 2019

I hate to break the news to China bashers, but the trade war with the US is over. I’ve maintained for months that Trump has no leverage in trade talks with China. If he did China would have done a deal by now.

They haven’t and they likely won’t unless you are talking some form of deal which allows Trump to save face here. But to be honest I’m beginning to doubt whether anyone in the White House cares. This is about the Great Powers Game and the simpleton idea that for one country to win in trade another has to lose.

This is, of course, nonsense.

Trade is not a zero-sum game. Ideally, all voluntary trade is a win-win scenario for both the buyer and the seller. If it wasn’t the trade would not be made. Lost in the numbers is the comparative perceived value of the exchange.

China is still running a massive trade surplus and that is true. But from the perspective of US trade, that is as much a function of Trump’s own profligate spending habits as any structural inequalities.

Trump is running a $1 trillion budget deficit. This is money that is conjured up out of thin air by the miracle of selling bonds. $1 trillion in bonds. Where do you think those $1 trillion in government expenditures goes to?

The moon? Laos?

No. It goes to China. It also finds its way into the US equity market Trump is so in love with and other places that produce goods that we Americans buy with that money. If Trump wants to win the trade war with China he should consider spending a little less money allow consumer prices here in the States to fall and let his tax cuts continue to attract capital for the right reasons – the value the American work force is capable of generating…

 

Over at my blog recently I noted:

China’s not going to implode over these tariffs. It will give Xi and his central bank the opportunity to devalue the yuan in response to the slower flow of dollars. It has to protect the lion’s share of its trade with Southeast Asia and Europe whose currencies are already in trouble.

And it will bail out the most strategically-sensitive banks and businesses over-exposed to them. It’s what they did last year in response to the 10% tariff and it is what will happen this time.

Lastly, however, is the part no one actually wants to discuss which is that China has to protect its trade with Southeast Asia and Europe. The Yuan didn’t devalue in a vacuum. The euro is down 13% from its high as are currencies like the Indonesian Rupiah, the Malaysian Ringgit and Thai Baht.

What Trump and his team are arguing for in trade negotiation is no different than what they’ve offered Iran and Lebanon, surrender your sovereignty or face punishment.

So, China reciprocates and cuts off US soybeans and other food exports. Now, a year later, Midwest banks are facing surging bankruptcies from farmers hit with the double whammy of no exports to China (who now buys them from Brazil) and massive flooding from an abnormally vicious winter and spring.

They have Trump to thank for this. He didn’t help them by not thinking through how we could be hurt by China’s reaction to his belligerence…

Let’s shift gears now and talk about what’s really going on.

Trump’s team would be fine with a trade deficit if China was still recycling that trade surplus into US Treasury bonds. They aren’t. The Chinese have held their stock of US debt between $1.1 and $1.25 trillion for two years now.

They are sending a lot of those dollars back out into the world to fund their massive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). They are also using them to power swap arrangements with countries feeling the bite of Trump’s sanctions. Countries like Turkey, Pakistan and Iran, for examples.

To the paranoid schizophrenics who run his White House can only see China rising as a threat not a complement to the US.

Again, these are people with a zero-sum view on trade.

They, like Trump, only see things in terms of power. And if China is running a surplus they are gaining it and we are losing it.

The push to sanction the world and stop the unapproved use of the dollar is beginning to have catastrophic effects on the world economy. People like John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo don’t care about those things. In fact, the more our ‘enemies,’ as they see them, suffer, the better it is for us. Such is their reductionist view of the world.

In no way do I believe China is somehow blameless or anything. They have taken egregious advantage of the US’s terrible policies for decades. But they are also shifting away from their mercantilist policies as Xi shifts the economy away from exports and towards a domestic consumption model…

After that the real energy war starts as Russia completes Power of Siberia and begins pumping natural gas to China. And China directs its state oil companies to buy more oil from Iran while lowering its purchases from Saudi Arabia unless the Saudis accept Yuan for it.

That’s where the real leverage in this whole fiasco lies…

 

 

 

 

 

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