Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fed has created a phony wealth effect

I believe that a very large portion of even our modest current growth is based on the “wealth effect” of rising stock, bond, and real estate prices that have only been made possible by zero percent rates in the first place. In my opinion, it is no coincidence that economic growth and stock market performance have stagnated since December 2014 when the Fed’s QE program came to an end (it has very little to do with either bad winter weather or the West Coast port closings).

Prior to that, the $80+ billion dollars per month that the Fed had been pumping into the economy had helped push up asset prices across the board. With QE gone, the only thing helping to keep them from falling, and the economy from an outright recession (which is technically a possibility for the first half of 2015), is zero percent interest rates. Given this, even modest increases in interest rates could be devastating.

Peter Schiff is a smart investor and author of several best selling books. He correctly predicted the economic meltdown of 2008 - 2009