Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Flooding the world with money

The eventual cost to the U.S. financial and economic system,says John Williams, will be much higher inflation.

“The monetary base has seen an unprecedented surge, reflecting total reserves of depository institutions jumping from an average of $47.1 billion (seasonally adjusted) in the two weeks ended Sept. 10 to $328.6 billion in the period ended Oct. 22.

“Using the St. Louis Fed’s adjusted monetary base (effectively total reserves plus M1 cash in circulation), the year-to-year growth in the latest period was an unprecedented 38%. In the period since 1919, the previous high growth rate was 28% in September 1939, as the U.S. was building up industry for the evolving war in Europe.
“Back in the days when the Federal Reserve targeted money supply growth, the monetary base was the measure it adjusted. The current surge in the base is a direct result of the ongoing, extraordinary actions taken by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury aimed at preventing a collapse of the U.S. financial system. The higher monetary base growth will result in sharp spikes to domestic money supply growth and will intensify inflationary pressures in the year ahead, irrespective of wild gyrations and sell-offs in oil and of strength in the U.S. dollar, which otherwise should prove very short-lived going forward.”

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