The Beginning Of The End
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The Federal Reserve Is Paying Banks NOT To Lend 1.8 Trillion Dollars To The American People

House Of Cards - Photo by ArealastDid you know that U.S. banks have more than 1.8 trillion dollars parked at the Federal Reserve and that the Fed is actually paying them not to lend that money to us?  We were always told that the goal of quantitative easing was to “help the economy”, but the truth is that the vast majority of the money that the Fed has created through quantitative easing has not even gotten into the system.  Instead, most of it is sitting at the Fed slowly earning interest for the bankers.  Back in October 2008, just as the last financial crisis was starting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Reserve would start paying interest on the reserves that banks keep at the Fed.  This caused an absolute explosion in the size of these reserves.  Back in 2008, U.S. banks had less than 2 billion dollars of excess reserves parked at the Fed.  Today, they have more than 1.8 trillion.  In less than five years, the pile of excess reserves has gotten nearly 1,000 times larger.  This is utter insanity, and it will have very serious consequences down the road.

Posted below is a chart that shows the explosive growth of these excess reserves in recent years…

Excess Reserves

This explains why all of the crazy money printing that the Fed has been doing has not caused tremendous inflation yet.  Most of the money has not even gotten into the economy.  The Fed has been paying banks not to lend it out.

But now that big pile of money is sitting out there, and at some point it is going to come pouring in to the U.S. economy.  When that happens, we could very well see an absolutely massive tsunami of inflation.

Posted below is a chart that shows the growth of the M2 money supply over the past several decades.  It has been fairly steady, but imagine what would happen if you took the hockey stick from the chart above and suddenly added it to the top of this one…

M2 Money Supply

The longer that the Federal Reserve continues to engage in quantitative easing and continues to pay banks not to lend that money out to the rest of us, the larger that inflationary time bomb is going to become.

In a recent article for the Huffington Post, Professor Robert Auerbach of the University of Texas explained the nightmarish situation that we are facing…

One reason that the excess reserves grew to an extraordinary level is that in October 2008, one month after the financial crisis when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt, the Bernanke Fed began paying interest on bank reserves. Although it has been 1/4 of 1 percent interest, this risk free rate was not low compared to the Fed’s policy of keeping short-term market rates near zero. The interest banks received was and is an incentive to hold the excess reserves rather than lend to consumers and businesses in the risky environment of the major recession and the slow recovery.

The Bernanke Fed is now facing a $1.863 trillion time bomb, they helped to create, of excess reserves in the private banking system. If rates of interest on income earning assets (including bank loans to consumers and businesses) rise, the Fed will have to pay the banks more interest to hold their excess reserves.

If interest rates move up dramatically (and they are already starting to rise significantly), banks will have an incentive to take that money out of the Fed and start lending it out.  Professor Auerbach suggests that this could cause an “avalanche” of money pouring into the economy…

Eighty five billion a month will seem tiny compared to the avalanche of the $1.863 trillion excess reserves exploding rapidly into the economy. That would devalue the currency, cause more rapid inflation and worry investors about a coming collapse.

So the Fed has kind of painted itself into a corner.  If the Fed keeps printing money, they continue to grossly distort our financial system even more and the excess reserves time bomb just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

But even the suggestion that the Fed would begin to start “tapering” quantitative easing caused the financial markets to throw an epic temper tantrum in recent weeks.  Interest rates immediately began to skyrocket and Fed officials did their best to try to settle everyone down.

So where do we go from here?

Unfortunately, as Jim Rogers recently explained, this massive experiment in financial manipulation is ultimately going to end in disaster…

I’m afraid that in the end, we’re all going to suffer perhaps, worse than we ever have, with inflation, currency turmoil, and higher interest rates.

The Fed and other global central banks have created the largest bond bubble in the history of the planet.  If the Fed ends quantitative easing, the bond market is going to try to revert to normal.

That would be disastrous for the global financial system.  The following is what Jim Willie told Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com

Everything is dependent on Fed support. They know if they take it away, they’re going to create a black hole. The Treasury bond is the greatest asset bubble in history. It’s at least twice as large as the housing and mortgage bubble, maybe three or four times as large.

But even if the central banks keep printing money, they may not be able to maintain control over the bond market.  In fact, there are already signs that they are starting to lose control.  The following is what billionaire Eric Sprott told King World News the other day…

It’s total orchestration. And it’s orchestration because they might have lost control of the bond market. I find it such a juxtaposition that central banks on a daily basis buy more bonds today than they ever purchased, and interest rates are going up, which is almost perverted. I mean how can that happen?

They’ve lost control of the market in my mind, and that’s why they are so desperately trying to get us all to forget the word ‘taper.’ In fact, we probably won’t even hear the word ‘taper’ anymore because it has such a sickening reaction to people in the bond market, and perhaps even people in the stock market. They will probably do away with the word. But the system is totally out of control. And then we’ve got this quadrillion dollars of derivatives. It just blows blows my mind to think about what could really be going on behind the scenes.

Sprott made a really good point about derivatives.

The quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble could bring down the global financial system at any time.

And remember, interest rate derivatives make up the biggest chunk of that.  Today, there are 441 trillion dollars of interest rate derivatives sitting out there.  If interest rates begin skyrocketing at some point, that is going to create some absolutely massive losses in the system.  We could potentially be talking about an event that would make the failure of Lehman Brothers look like a Sunday picnic.

We are moving into a time of great financial instability.  People are going to be absolutely shocked by what happens.

Our financial system is a house of cards built on a foundation of risk, leverage and debt.  When it all comes tumbling down, it should not be a surprise to any of us.

Economic Failure: 58 Percent Of The Jobs Being Created Are Low Paying Jobs

Are you good at flipping burgers , waiting tables or stocking shelves?  Are you proficient with a cash register?  Do you enjoy doing mindless work for very low pay?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you are probably going to fit in very well in the new U.S. economy.  According to a report that has just been released by the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.  So exactly what is a low paying job?  Well, the National Employment Law Project defines it as a job with an hourly wage between $7.69 and $13.83.  But of course you can’t pay a mortgage or support a family on $13.83 an hour.  Even if you got full-time hours the entire year, you would make less than $28,000 on an annual basis.  The federal poverty level for a family of five is $27,010.  So needless to say, most of these new jobs are not paying enough to support a middle class lifestyle.  This represents an economic failure on a fundamental level.  Our economy is producing very few good jobs that enable people to be able to raise families and live the American Dream.  The ranks of “the working poor” are exploding and the number of Americans that are dependent on the government is sitting at an all-time record.  Sadly, if current trends continue things are going to get a lot worse.

The numbers compiled by the National Employment Law Project are absolutely stunning.  Most of the jobs lost during the recent recession were mid-wage jobs, and most of the jobs created since then have been low wage jobs.  This represents a fundamental shift in our economy.  Just check out these figures….

-21 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were low wage jobs paying between $7.69 and $13.83 an hour.

-58 percent of the jobs created since the end of the recession have been low wage jobs paying between $7.69 and $13.83 an hour.

-60 percent of the jobs lost during the last recession were mid-wage jobs paying between $13.84 and $21.13 an hour.

-22 percent of the jobs created since the end of the recession have been mid-wage jobs paying between $13.84 and $21.13 an hour.

But even the high end of the mid-wage pay scale is not that great.

If you make $21.13 an hour and you work full-time hours for the entire year you will end up making about 42,000 for an entire year.

Yes, that can probably support a family of four in most areas of the country, but you really have to scrimp and save to do it.

And keep in mind that 80 percent of all the jobs being created now pay at that level or less.

Welcome to the new U.S. economy.

It really stinks for workers.

The truth is that there has been a fundamental cultural change in our economy. Workers are no longer valued.  They are viewed as expensive liabilities that should be disposed of as rapidly as possible once their usefulness has ended.

There is very little loyalty to workers these days, and most big corporations do not really care about the quality of the lives of their workers.  The number of companies offering health insurance to their workers continues to decline (and thanks to Obamacare that decline is accelerating even further), and the number of companies offering pension plans to their workers continues to decrease as well.

At this point, less than 25 percent of all jobs in the United States are good jobs, and that number continues to shrink.

Is this because the big corporations are not making enough money?

Not at all.

In fact, corporate profits have been setting all-time records in recent years….

Meanwhile, wages as a percentage of the economy are at an all-time low….

So why is this happening?

Well, I already talked about the fundamental cultural shift that is happening.  Companies simply do not care about their workers like they used to.  America is becoming a very cold place.

Another major factor is that millions upon millions of our good jobs have been shipped overseas thanks to the emerging one world economy.

In the old days, U.S. corporations were more or less forced to hire American workers and the wages earned from a typical manufacturing job could easily support a growing family.

That has entirely changed now.

The big corporations no longer need American workers to make stuff.  They can just close up shop and move their facilities to the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages to very desperate workers.

And now there is greatly increased competition for the jobs that we still have in this country because so many of our jobs have disappeared.

If you don’t like how your employer is treating you that is just too bad.  In most cases your employer would have absolutely no problem finding a replacement for you.  In fact, there are probably thousands of people in your community that are desperate for a job such as yours.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that the decline of the middle class in America is going to get a lot worse.

American families are rapidly getting poorer.  Real median household income has fallen another 4.8 percent since the last recession ended.

Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to go up and American family budgets are being stretched to the limit.

In a previous article, I noted that 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.

Things have fundamentally changed.  The days of endless prosperity for the middle class are gone for good.  You are going to have to adjust.

At this point, 77 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time.

If you are relying solely on a job for the financial survival of your family, then you are probably in a similar situation.

Do you know why they call it a “job”?

It is because you will mostly likely end up living “Just Over Broke” for most of your life.

A major shift in our economy is happening.

We are transitioning from an “employment economy” to an “ownership economy”.

Most Americans that are currently working for others are not going to have a bright economic future.

That may sound harsh, but it is the truth.

Even if you are still one of the fortunate Americans that still has a good job, you need to start thinking about what you are going to do when you lose that job someday.

The system is failing, and if you have blind faith that it is always going to take care of you and provide a job for you then you are likely to be bitterly disappointed someday.

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