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The FOMC: Bernanke’s Lap Dogs or Full-Time Deceivers?

Written by Gary North on June 25, 2013

The head of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has been cautiously critical of Bernanke’s remarks on June 19 regarding the possible early exit by the Federal Open Market Committee from QE3 later this year. Bernanke’s remarks sent world stock and bond prices lower.

A press release explains his concerns.

In his view, the Committee should have more strongly signaled its willingness to defend its inflation target of 2 percent in light of recent low inflation readings. Inflation in the U.S. has surprised on the downside during 2013. Measured as the percent change from one year earlier, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) headline inflation rate is running below 1 percent, and the PCE core inflation rate is close to 1 percent. President Bullard believes that to maintain credibility, the Committee must defend its inflation target when inflation is below target as well as when it is above target.

Bullard has to know this is utter poppycock. The Committee does not “strongly signal” anything, ever. It always hides behind bland bureaucratic verbiage — and not just bureaucratic verbiage: boilerplate bureaucratic verbiage. The FOMC’s language has been identical all year. I have cited these statements word-for-word here.

The FOMC has repeated the price inflation figure of 2% all year. It never adds any explanations. It never holds press conferences. It simply hides behind boilerplate. Here is what it always says: “. . . this exceptionally low range for the federal funds rate will be appropriate at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6-1/2 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored.”

Bernanke’s public statement raised the acceptable unemployment figure to 7%. In a 28-page statement — he said this:

Although the Committee left the pace of purchases unchanged at today’s meeting, it has stated that it may vary the pace of purchases as economic conditions evolve. Any such change would reflect the incoming data and their implications for the outlook, as well as the cumulative progress made toward the Committee’s objectives since the program began in September. Going forward, the economic outcomes that the Committee sees as most likely involve continuing gains in labor markets, supported by moderate growth that picks up over the next several quarters as the near-term restraint from fiscal policy and other headwinds diminishes. We also see inflation moving back toward our 2 percent objective over time. If the incoming data are broadly consistent with this forecast, the Committee currently anticipates that it would be appropriate to moderate the monthly pace of purchases later this year. And if the subsequent data remain broadly aligned with our current expectations for the economy, we would continue to reduce the pace of purchases in measured steps through the first half of next year, ending purchases around midyear. In this scenario, when asset purchases ultimately come to an end, the unemployment rate would likely be in the vicinity of 7 percent, with solid economic growth supporting further job gains, a substantial improvement from the 8.1 percent unemployment rate that prevailed when the Committee announced this program (pp. 4-5).

On his own authority, he simply scrapped the FOMC’s official statements. But Bullard held back. He did not say what Bernanke very clearly did. No Federal Reserve regional bank president has had the guts to say this. Bullard pretended that the FOMC was secretly behind Bernanke’s statement. He pretended that the FOMC had authorized this unilateral revision of its official boilerplate.

Then he went on to criticize Bernanke as a big mouth.

Bernanke does not speak for the FOMC, said James Bullard. In a statement published on the website of the St. Louis FED, Bullard was hostile to the FOMC in giving Bernanke too much authority to announce policy.

Who does Bullard think he is kidding? The FOMC granted Bernanke no such authority. Bernanke simply pulled the rug out from under the other members in full public view.

The financial world took Bernanke at his word — that he was in charge, not the FOMC. He gave every indication that the FOMC is an appendage — a convenient chorus for the Chairman. He was saying, loud and clear, that the FOMC, like pop music’s back-up singers, are 20 feet from stardom.

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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3 thoughts on “The FOMC: Bernanke’s Lap Dogs or Full-Time Deceivers?

  1. Rabelrouser says:

    Bernanke's words, set up another manipulative stage for "Big Money", especially in the commodities markets. Given the drop in those markets futures, the system is being gamed to remove any present supply from the small investor by creating a buying splurge; especially in the precious metals markets, (gold, silver, platnium).
    Up to this point, the average citizen could find a small quanity avalible for the ability to create a reserve wealth savings, now that is drying up faster than many of the nations aquifers.
    This also continues to allow incrimental inflation to advance at a greater rate, with manipulation of weight to price in daily food sales.
    Those who have written the monetary laws (Federal Reserve) for 100 years, continue to "corner" any market, and create their own wealth while keeping the masses from any hope of financial advancement. Financial control is one key to keeping a populace under control.

  2. rmgdnnow says:

    Brush away the bureaucratese, and you see that Bernanke is talking about how many more dollars he is going to "print" and deposit into the Federal Reserve. And at some point we will see an onset of inflation to 4 to 6%, or more; the interest to be paid on the National Debt will grow to a figure which will wipe out Defense spending and diminish spending everywhere else where it can be cut—- and printing more money to pay the interest of previously printed money. The eventual consequence of this chicanery is not pleasant to contemplate.

  3. Rabelrouser says:

    In reading the complete article you come to realize that Snowden is opening a picture of the ineptness of the police state we are living in and the manner in which the propaganda arm is being used to forment its agenda.
    Kudos to Gary for bringing to light the correlation between the two entities and the understanding that the present system is chasing its own tail in an effort to keep the masses confused and distracted by it's "cake and entertainment" policy of information dissemination.
    Few can see the way their minds and actions are being manipluated and even fewer can understand how this form of "information" sharing is keeping them blind to larger truths. And so the nations problems and delemias grow to massive proportions.
    When the people can not understand something so basic as manipluation, they become a part of it and allow it to control their lives. Pitiful uneducated masses, facts are facts; but knowledge solves problems.