FROM TECH-TICKER, 8/20/1010
As expected, Ben Bernanke provided a rational for more quantitative easing Friday, declaring: “Inflation is running at rates that are too low relative to the levels the [FOMC] judges to be most consistent with the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate” of price stability and full employment.
Predictably, Euro Pacific Capital president Peter Schiff wholeheartedly disagrees with that – and just about everything else Bernanke says.
“It’s scary how clueless Bernanke is,” Schiff says, noting the dollar is at or near record lows vs. several major currencies and commodities from agriculture to zinc are soaring.
“That is inflation,” he says, dismissing this morning’s tame CPI data as hedonically adjusted government fiction. “As money loses value prices are going to rise because you need more diminished dollars to buy goods and services.”
Moreover, Bernanke’s suggestion that more inflation will spur employment growth is the really “crazy thing” in today’s speech, Schiff says. “You don’t create jobs by creating inflation,” he says. “You create jobs by reducing regulation and lowering taxes.”
A pure libertarian and devote of the Austrian school of economics, Schiff expressed two main concern about Bernanke’s policies:
One, the government is trying to prop up an economy based on debt-fueled consumption, rather than letting it “restructure,” albeit from much lower levels.
Two, more quantitative easing will lead to more big government.
“What Ben Bernanke is saying to Congress is ‘run up the deficits because I’m going to monetize it for you,’” Schiff says. “He is enabling the government to get bigger, which is going to make employment worse, not better. He’s throwing gasoline on a fire.”