There Will Be No End to Quantitative Easing

The Bank of England is expected today to announce another round of debt monetization, called “quantitative easing”. A majority of economists polled by Dow Jones Newswire earlier this week expected the central bank’s policy committee to agree “to £50 billion ($79 billion) of additional bond purchases using freshly created money to underpin demand and ensure its 2% inflation target is met. Some expect it to go for £75 billion.”

Official inflation is over 4 percent in the UK, so how printing more money is going to help meet a 2 percent inflation target is a bit difficult to grasp, but let us not quibble over such details. What counts is that the Bank of England is the undisputed champ of QE. After the next round of money printing, the BoE will have created new money to the tune of 20 percent of GDP, and will fund more than a quarter of all outstanding government debt via the printing press.

£275 billion of QE so far have not solved the crisis — the economy last year grew by less than 1 percent — but have lifted inflation and thus squeezed real incomes. At the same time, this policy has kept the government’s borrowing costs low and the banks from shrinking and in certain cases from collapsing. As with any policy of monetary debasement, the direct beneficiaries are the state and the banks.

This has tradition behind it. The Bank of England was founded in 1694 for the specific purpose of financing the Crown, which at the time was in low standing with its creditors. From its inception the Bank of England enjoyed numerous legal privileges that cemented its dominant position in the nascent but growing British banking system. Among them was the privilege to issue money against obligations of the Crown — a form of early ‘debt monetization’. Of course, the gold standard was a hindrance to unlimited money creation, so whenever the state needed more funds, usually at times of war, the Bank of England was conveniently absolved of any of its contractual agreements to redeem in specie, and kindly asked to fund the state through the creation of new money.

Gentlemen, start your printing presses!

But only after the gold standard was abandoned and the dollar’s gold window finally shut in 1971, the party could really begin. From 1965 to 2007, the year the present crisis started and UK banks began to collapse, the pound has lost more than 90 percent of its purchasing power! Two generations of British savers have been locked in a desperate struggle to sustain the real value of their savings. But hey, why save? Just borrow!

Such persistent monetary debasement has created a freak economy, in which every high street is littered with the cheap-looking branches of retail banks and in which property speculation is a national pastime. The English seem to live in the smallest and oldest houses of all of Europe but thanks to money-induced housing booms consider themselves to be wealthy, on paper at least, as long as they managed to get onto the housing ladder early enough. Why bother with engineering, once the hallmark of British industrial superiority, when you can flip a few semi-derelict terraced houses with borrowed money?

On a GDP-per-capita basis, 19 countries in the world now generate more income than the UK, but the UK is still world leader when it comes to leverage. According to a study by McKinsey, private and public debt combined stand at 5 times GDP, only Japan comes close.

But when the bubbles finally burst, the overstretched banks teeter on the brink of collapse, and the credit edifice wobbles, the central bankers counter with the only tool at hand: more money printing at an ever increasing rate. The central bankers are the arsonists of this crisis who now pose as fire fighters quickly labelling further monetary debasement ‘stimulus’. (In June 2011, Mervin King, the governor of the Bank of England, was knighted for his efforts during the financial crisis.)

This is the BoE’s strategy: to fight a hangover by opening another bottle of booze. “There is not a credit boom that a few trillion pounds cannot extend for a few more years.” That seems to be the modus operandi.

Or, will the public debt situation be better? Will the economy have deleveraged and rid itself of an unsustainable debt load? And will the economy then grow without the burden of the accumulated debris from previous cheap-money booms? –No, and no again! Deleveraging is verboten! Credit contraction is verboten! Bringing the economy back to anything that resembles a stable and sustainable structure is verboten! QE is designed specifically to stop the cleansing of the economy’s imbalances.

“Quantitative easing” has one objective: to generate headline growth through more money debasement, more credit creation, more balance sheet extension, and more debt! More money, more credit, more debt! If that sounds familiar, it is because that was the growth model of the past twenty years, the growth model that has set us up for the crisis.

The central bankers and their supporters among financial market economists have no other model. More money, more credit, more debt — that is the motto of the fiat money economy, and ever since the last link between state money and gold was severed, all central banks have constantly expanded their balance sheets, constantly bought government debt and created new bank reserves, constantly encouraged bank credit creation and borrowing.

In a fiat money economy, central banks are designed to be “quantitative easers”. That is what they do. The only thing that has changed recently is that the disastrous consequences of such a policy are now palpable and that the private sector is reluctant to participate any longer. The drastic acceleration in money printing that is now called “quantitative easing” simply marks the desperate attempt to outrun the system’s desire to shrink.

No, I am sorry, dear experts, but the idea that any of this will stop at £400 billion, £600 billion, or £1,600 billion is silly. You obviously failed to grasp the very essence of a paper money economy. We removed the golden shackles so that there will NEVER be an end to credit expansion and monetary debasement.

Well, actually there will be an end. But that will come not through a calm measured decision by the MPC, the monetary policy committee that is digging itself an ever deeper hole. It will come when the public begins to lose faith in this charade. But whether that point is reached at £600 billion or at £325 billion, nobody can say.


Detlev Schlichter

Paper Money Collapse


Parting Shot:

(From Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan…)

“Proponents of Gold Standard May Be Violent Extremists; Report ALL Suspicious Activity To the FBI”

If you support returning the United States monetary system to sound money backed by the gold standard and believe that our country is bankrupt as a consequence of out-of-control spending and fiat money printing, then you may soon receive a visit from your local DHS/FBI office.

This morning your family, friends and neighbors were alerted by representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that you and those who share similar ideas as you are potentially dangerous extremists that could threaten the national security of the United States:

“Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday.

These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference.

“The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard.

Source: Reuters

Whether you like it or not, if you promote the ownership of gold, reject the notion that forced taxation is your patriotic duty and prefer to live in a country with limited government interference, you have now been stereotyped and grouped in with the handful of criminals who have recently turned violent against law enforcement officials. And, chances are that those close to you, who may not necessarily share your views, have now been alerted to your volatile nature and potential for violence against local law enforcement officials and the free people of the United States.

“Routine encounters with police can turn violent “at the drop of a hat,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division.

“‘We thought it was important to increase the visibility of the threat with state and local law enforcement,’ he said.

“In May 2010, two West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers were shot and killed in an argument that developed after they pulled over a “sovereign citizen” in traffic.

Last year, an extremist in Texas opened fire on a police officer during a traffic stop. The officer was not hit.”

The narrative is clear: If you share the same ideas as someone who has made a personal choice to turn to violence in the past, then you too must be an equal threat. Furthermore, the FBI is actively instructing businesses in your local area to be on the look-out for suspicious activity which may be precursors to anti-government activities. In a related story from Infowars, Paul Watson reports that FBI advisory aimed at Internet Cafe owners instructs businesses to report people who regularly use cash to pay for their coffee as potential terrorists.

“The flyer, issued under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program, lists examples of “suspicious activity” and then encourages businesses to gather information about individuals and report them to the authorities.

“Indeed, the flyer aimed at Internet Cafe owners characterizes customers who “always pay cash” as potential terrorists.

“Of course, the vast majority of people who visit Internet Cafes use cash to pay their bill. Who uses a credit card to buy a $2 dollar cup of coffee? A lot of smaller establishments don’t even accept credit cards for amounts less than $10 dollars.

“Other examples of suspicious behavior include using a “residential based Internet provider” such as AOL or Comcast, the use of “anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address” (these are routinely used by mobile web users to bypass public Internet filters), “Suspicious communications using VOIP,” and “Preoccupation with press coverage of terrorist attack” (this would apply to the vast majority of people who work in the news or political blogging industry).”

Source: Info Wars

Also See: FBI CAT – Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Internet Café [pdf]

In a coincidental stroke of good luck and timing for the national security apparatus of the United States, the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows for the rounding up and detainment of of these potential extremists without charge or trial, because the last thing we need is for courts, juries, and evidence to be involved in ensuring the security of American citizens.

Be warned fellow Americans. No one will be immune to the violative laws, policies and regulations of the police state which is quickly and forcefully embedding itself into all aspects of American life and culture.

In the new America, every man, woman and child is a suspect, person-of-interest and potential terrorist.

–Mac Slavo,

The Daily Reckoning