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Private Briefingwith WILLIAM PATALON III, Executive Editor
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Everything changed on September 13. It's the day Ben Bernanke promised not to take away the punch bowl.
Last Thursday, Helicopter Ben announced that the Fed would start buying $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities -- for as long as it takes. He also announced the Fed will keep rates between 0-0.25%, until mid-2015.
The goal is to keep supporting the mortgage bond market until the employment level improves "sufficiently."
But given that the last several rounds of multi-hundred billion dollar stimulus didn't accomplish that goal, it's hard to see why they'd expect this time to be any different.
Maybe it's just because Paul Krugman was right: They didn't spend enough the first two times (sarcasm intended). Or then again, maybe that's not really their goal...
Consider this: At Jackson Hole just a few weeks ago Bernanke said that, historically, there has only been limited experience with quantitative easing. Therefore central banks, including the Fed, "have been in the process of learning by doing."
Excuse me, but are you freaking kidding me?...
Did Ben skip all his history classes? Has he ever heard of the demise of Rome or Weimar Germany?
More recently, even Argentina and Zimbabwe have had plenty of experience with quantitative easing. Their zealous over-printing led to major devaluation and/or outright currency collapse.
Couldn't Bernanke have checked in with Cristina Kirchner or Robert Mugabe?
The only real difference, and I'll admit it's a substantial one, is that the U.S. dollar is the reserve currency for the world's central banks. But that won't change the outcome.
Instead it may just delay the day of reckoning. In the meantime, it's very likely going to make the situation much, much worse.
So what's the Fed really up to?
Well, here's what I think...
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