The Federal Reserve’s efforts to rescue the economy have been historically aggressive, starting with the initial round of quantitative easing in 2008 and continuing through 2013. Much money has been printed, despite what Bernanke says. M1 has been more than tripled. Yet Gold is down, commodities market is down, and inflation is still at historic low levels!
The central bank’s assets have skyrocketed due to the Fed’s bond purchases, which you can see clearly in this eye-opening report that Robert Prechter presented to the Market Technicians Association and his Elliott Wave Theorist subscribers.
Editor’s Note: Visit Elliott Wave International to download the rest of the 8-page, free report, How to Protect Your Money When the U.S. Debt Bill Comes Due.
The main reason investors are expecting runaway inflation is illustrated in [the chart above], which shows the value of assets held at the Federal Reserve. The Fed has been inflating the supply of dollars at a stunning 33% annual rate over the past five years. … [N]o wonder investors expect inflation and have aggressively positioned for it.
Look just about anywhere else, however, and you will see subtle evidence of deflationary pressures. Given knowledge only of the Fed’s inflating, many people would expect the Producer and Consumer Price Indexes to be rising at a rate of 33% annually. But, as you can see in Figure 2, the PPI’s annual rate of change is stuck at zero and the CPI has been rising at only a 2% rate.
The Elliott Wave Theorist, July-August, 2013
In an interview at the recent San Francisco Money Show with financial author Jim Mosquera, EWI’s Chief Market Analyst Steven Hochberg explains why the Fed has gotten so little in return from its stimulus programs. Here’s a brief excerpt from the interview published on Aug. 18:
Question: The Fed wizards have been pushing buttons and pulling levers rather furiously since 2008. The discount rate is rock bottom, and the Fed balance sheet has swelled to the tune of trillions. What button is left for them to push?
Steve Hochberg: That is a really interesting question the way you phrased it because the fact that they have been pushing buttons and have gotten very little in return tells us … that the Fed is not in control. The Fed does not control the markets, and it doesn’t control the economy. Both are bigger than the Fed.
You say they have been doing this furiously. They have been doing this historically! Yet if you look at inflationary measures, such as the Personal Consumption Expenditures, which is the Fed’s favorite way of measuring inflation, it’s bumping along at 1%.
We have had historic fiscal and monetary stimulus and yet no inflation. Why? The forces of deflation are overwhelming the forces of inflation. The Fed dropped interest rates in 2000 to 2002 and that did not stop the Nasdaq from dropping 78%. The Fed dropped rates from 2007 to 2009 and it did not stop the Dow from going down 59%. There is historical evidence that the Fed does not control the markets but that the markets control the Fed.
As the next leg of the bear market starts unfolding, they are going to do more unconventional things. Things will accelerate to the downside when the public realizes the central banks aren’t in control.