The Fed’s $12.8 trillion of monetary stimulus has triggered a six week-long surge in the stock market. Think of it as Bernanke’s Bear Market Rally, a torrent of capital gushing from every leaky valve and rusty pipe in the financial system. The Fed’s so-called “lending facilities” are a joke; stocks rocket into the stratosphere while the broader economy is stretched out corpse-like on a cold marble slab. Is this an economic recovery or just more of Bernanke’s “no down” zero-percent “no doc” faux prosperity?
Bernanke has provided generous “100 cents on the dollar” loans for Triple A mortgage-backed collateral that is now worth 30 cents on the dollar. The Fed stands to lose trillions of dollars on these loans because the assets will never regain their original value. Eventually the taxpayer will have to pony up the difference in higher taxes, fewer public services and a weaker dollar.
Naturally, some of Bernanke’s liquidity has made its way into the stock market where the prospects for maximizing profit are still the best. The Fed’s creditors didn’t borrowed the money just to stick it in a dusty vault in their offices. They’ve put it where they think it will do them some good. At the same time, the relentless systemwide contraction continues apace and hasn’t been eased by Bernanke’s low interest rates or lending programs. All of the economic indicators point to a deepening recession that will last for two years or more. Here’s a clip from a recent statement from the IMF: (more…)
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