Where is the Heat?

janet yellenDuring the ’70’s the economy was, putting it mildly, overheating. Richard Nixon had cut the final cord to gold, originally initiated by FDR, the oil embargo crisis was in full bloom and prices were rising at a double digit rate. Paul Volcker and his Federal Reserve cronies came to the rescue with a powerful, dramatic and painful increase of interest rates to take the HEAT out of the economy. That action was THE, and some say only, legitimate weapon that the Fed had to slow down an overheated economy. Of course, in most recent times, Quantitative Easing, balance sheet expansion (with questionable and perhaps not quite legal assets) and continued jaw-boning have been the Fed’s weapons of choice to try and put some HEAT back into the economy.

Mortgage origination at all time lows, food stamp recipients at all time highs and millions not counted in the participation pool seems to prove that the Fed has been successful in keeping the dreaded hyperinflation or even simple inflation from infiltrating our economy.

Of course, the S & P is at all time highs proving once again the Fed is right on track for the top 1%.

Now the question on everyone’s lips is when, not if, the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. They say they will continue to be “patient” and monitor the recovering strength of the economy before taking any action.

It is not a secret that a select few have benefited from the action of the central bank while the overwhelming majority of savers have suffered greatly. If the reason that rates are being raised is to give some type of return to the poor souls who live on a fixed income I can understand that but if the rationale for the raise is to slow down a questionable recovering economy then my question is simple – What are you slowing down? Everything from housing and precious metals to energy and manufacturing seemed to be entering their own tailspin.

If, however, the real reason for an increase is to deflate an artificially inflated bond market then please just say so.

In the ’70’s it was pretty obvious but now, Janet, please!


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With his passion for economics Bill Tatro has been entertaining audiences on the radio and in seminars for decades. Bill is an economist that provides weekly paid content to subscribers, and offers a free daily "lite" version as well.