Friday, March 16, 2012

Chicago Fed Blows Smoke About Fed Juice

Don't worry about the confusing title of this blog post.  I can explain everything, as usual.  See, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is arguing that the Fed needs to continue its insane policy of zero interest rates to avoid risks of . . . okay, what exactly?  Stagnation risk has already been realized, with real unemployment (courtesy of Shadow Government Statistics) surpassing 20% for the past three years and not declining.

Yeah, Fed dude says there's little risk of inflation spiking past 2%.  He needs to read today's BLS news release, showing the CPI-U for the past 12 months has already grown 2.9%.  Federal Reserve officials know pretty dog-gone well what the real numbers are and how their ZIRP policy makes them worse.  They can't let up because, like any political actors, they desire reappointment and want to stay in the limelight.  Being publicly visible and keeping the perks of power are no doubt addictive.  It's hard to walk away from positions that keep one's name in the headlines unless Goldman Sachs makes a far better offer than Uncle Sam.

There is no recovery in the U.S.  The Fed knows this but won't admit it; to admit error now would invite scrutiny, blame, opprobrium, and loss of power.  Dysfunctional policy thus continues until such time as a bond market revolt makes real interest rates too ugly to ignore.