The Fed, Food Riots, and China

Originally published elsewhere by me on 1/21/2011

Is Federal Reserve policy having unintended consequences around the world?

As you know, civil unrest in Tunisia has brought down the government. You are probably aware that Egypt is also teetering on the brink. President Mubarak’s son, Gamal Mubarak, and his son family have fled to London. Today I read a rumor that President Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne Mubarak, has also fled to London. Our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said Tuesday:

Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.

I’m not seeing the stability.
Continue reading “The Fed, Food Riots, and China”

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Thomas Sowell on The Fed

Here’s an excerpt from an interview of Thomas Sowell by John Hawkins:

Hawkins:
Now, in recent years we started to hear more people calling to get rid of the Federal Reserve. Good idea, bad idea? What are your thoughts?
Sowell:
Good idea.
Hawkins:
Good idea? What do you think we should replace it with? What do you think we should do?
Sowell:
Well it’s like when you remove a cancer what do you replace it with?

Wow! Read the whole thing.

Oh no! QE2 depends on more stimulus spending

Originally posted by me elsewhere on 11/19/2010

As you know, Ben Bernanke has arranged for the U.S. Federal Reserve to buy $600 billion dollars worth of U.S. debt. However I only recently learned that the Federal Reserve doesn’t buy these Treasury Bonds directly from the Treasury. As I understand it that behavior would alarm other creditors and they might lose confidence in the dollar. Instead all the bonds are sold at auction to Primary Dealers, such as Goldman Sachs. Then these Primary Dealers make a profit on the bonds by selling them at a higher price to someone else, such as the Fed. That’s right… there is a middle man who makes a profit whenever the U.S. Government sells its own debt to itself.

Continue reading “Oh no! QE2 depends on more stimulus spending”