The Run On The Fed–Countries Demanding Their Gold Reserves Back–The Currency War Gets Hot–Videos

Posted on February 7, 2013. Filed under: Banking, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, History of Economic Thought, Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, Money, Public Sector, Tax Policy, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , |

gold3

GoldBycountry

Germany Repatriates Gold From France and US

James Turk on the Central Bank Gold Heist and Bundesbank Accounting Shenaniga

Bringing in the bullion Germany to repatriate gold from US and France

Germany Moves To Relocate Gold From New York Fed to Bundesbank

Germany Wants Its Gold Back From the Fed

Keiser Report: Welcome Home German Gold (E395)

Is Germany About to Start a Run on Gold Held at the New York Fed?

German lawmakers are to review Bundesbank controls of and management of Germany’s gold reserves. Parliament’s Budget Committee will assess how the central bank manages its inventory of Germany’s gold bullion bars that are believed to be stored not only in Frankfurt, but at locations outside Germany, according to German newspaper Bild.

What’s most interesting about all this is that Germany may follow in Hugo Chavez’s footsteps and repatriate their gold to Germany so as to have direct possession of and ownership of their gold reserves. It’s really the only way to protect a central bank’s gold ownership, since by simply going in and asking the New York Fed to show Germany “their” gold, the Fed can walk them in and show them a pile of gold and tell them that it is theirs. The next day they can walk Chinese officials in and show the Chinese the exact same pile of gold and tell them that the gold is theirs.

Possession is the only sure protection.

Germany’s huge gold reserves – 3,396.3 tonnes of gold are some 73.7% of Germany’s national foreign exchange reserves, and are held not only in Germany but at the New York Fed, in London and in Paris. Dumb.

What kind of pressure will the U.S. put on Germany to prevent them from repatriating their gold? The banksters clearly have German Chancellor Merkel in their pocket, but this is unlikely to be influence that is deep into German political leaders. Thus, a run on gold, started by Germany, is not an impossibility.

In this scenario, the noise you would hear is the spike in gold as Bernanke prints more dollars for open market purchases of gold to fill demand for delivery by various central banks. Yikes.

(ViaJamesMiller)

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/03/is-germany-about-to-start-run-on-gold.html

U.S. Dollar Collapse: Where is Germany’s Gold?

By Peter Schiff

The financial world was shocked this month by a demand from Germany’s Bundesbank to repatriate a large portion of its gold reserves held abroad. By 2020, Germany wants 50% of its total gold reserves back in Frankfurt – including 300 tons from the Federal Reserve. The Bundesbank’s announcement comes just three months after the Fed refused to submit to an audit of its holdings on Germany’s behalf. One cannot help but wonder if the refusal triggered the demand.

Either way, Germany appears to be waking up to a reality for which central banks around the world have been preparing: the dollar is no longer the world’s safe-haven asset and the US government is no longer a trustworthy banker for foreign nations. It looks like their fears are well-grounded, given the Fed’s seeming inability to return what is legally Germany’s gold in a timely manner. Germany is a developed and powerful nation with the second largest gold reserves in the world. If they can’t rely on Washington to keep its promises, who can?

Where is Germany’s Gold?

The impact of Germany’s repatriation on the dollar revolves around an unanswered question: why will it take seven years to complete the transfer?

The popular explanation is that the Fed has already rehypothecated all of its gold holdings in the name of other countries. That is, the same mound of bullion is earmarked as collateral for a host of different lenders. Since the Fed depends on a fractional-reserve banking system for its very existence, it would not come as a surprise that it has become a fractional-reserve bank itself. If so, then perhaps Germany politely asked for a seven-year timeline in order to allow the Fed to save face, and to prevent other depositors from clamoring for their own gold back – a ‘run’ on the Fed.

Now, the Fed can always print more dollars and buy gold on the open market to make up for any shortfall, but such a move could substantially increase the price of gold. The last thing the Fed needs is another gold price spike reminding the world of the dollar’s decline.

Speculation Aside

None of these theories are substantiated, but no matter how you slice it, Germany’s request for its gold does not bode well for the future of the dollar. In fact, the Bundesbank’s official statements are all you need to confirm the Germans’ waning faith in the US.

Last October, after the Bundesbank had requested an audit of its Fed holdings, Executive Board Member Carl-Ludwig Thiele was asked in an interview why the bank kept so much of Germany’s gold overseas. His response emphasized the importance of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency:

Thiele’s statement can lead us to only one conclusion: by keeping fewer reserves in the US, Germany foresees less future need for “US dollar-denominated liquidity.””Gold stored in your home safe is not immediately available as collateral in case you need foreign currency. Take, for instance, the key role that the US dollar plays as a reserve currency in the global financial system. The gold held with the New York Fed can, in a crisis, be pledged with the Federal Reserve Bank as collateral against US dollar-denominated liquidity.”

History Repeats

The whole situation mirrors the late 1960s, during a period that led up to the “Nixon Shock.” Back then, the world was on the Bretton Woods System – an attempt on the part of Western central bankers to pin the dollar to gold at a fixed rate, while still allowing the metal to trade privately as a commodity. This led to a gap between the market price of gold as a commodity and the official price available from the Treasury.

As the true value of gold separated further and further from its official rate, the world began to realize the system was unsustainable, and many suspected the US was not serious about maintaining a strong dollar. West Germany moved first on these fears by redeeming its dollar reserves for gold, followed by France, Switzerland, and others. This eventually culminated in Nixon “closing the gold window” in 1971 by ending any link between the dollar and gold. This “Nixon Shock” spurred chronic inflation throughout the ’70s and a concurrent rally in gold.

Perhaps the entire international community is thinking back to the ’60s, because Germany isn’t the only country maneuvering away from the dollar today. The Netherlands and Azerbaijan are also discussing repatriating their foreign gold holdings. And every month, we hear about central banks increasing gold reserves. The latest are Russia and Kazakhstan, but in the last year, countries from Brazil to Turkey have been adding to their gold holdings in order to diversify away from fiat currency reserves.

And don’t forget China. Once the biggest purchaser of US bonds, it is now a net seller of Treasuries, while simultaneously gobbling up gold. Some sources even claim that China has unofficially surpassed Germany as the second largest holder of gold in the world.

Unlike the ’60s, today there is no official gold window to close. There will be no reported “shock” indicator of a dollar flight. This demand by Germany may be the closest indicator we’re going to get. Placing blame where it’s due, let’s call it the “Bernanke Shock.”

It Takes One to Know One

In last month’s Gold Letter, I wrote about the three pillars supporting the US Treasury’s persistently low interest rates: the Fed, domestic investors, and foreign central banks – led by Japan. I examined how Japan’s plans to radically devalue the yen may undermine that country’s ability to continue buying Treasuries, which could cause the other pillars to become unstable as well.

While private investors and even the Fed might be deluding themselves into believing US bonds are still a viable investment, Germany’s repatriation news makes it clear that foreign governments are no longer buying the propaganda. And why should they? If anyone should appreciate the real constraints the US government is facing, it is other governments.

Our sovereign creditors know that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama are just regular men in fancy suits. They know the Fed isn’t harboring some ingenious plan for raising interest rates while successfully selling back its worthless mortgage and government securities. Instead, the Fed is like a drug addict making any excuse to get its next fix. [See Bernanke's tell-all interview with Oprah where he confesses to economic doping!]

US investors should be as shocked as the Bundesbank about the Fed’s deception. While we cannot redeem our dollars for gold with the Fed, we can still buy gold with them in the open market. As more investors and governments choose to save in precious metals, the dollar’s value will go into steeper and steeper decline – thereby driving more investors into metals. That’s when the virtuous circle upon which the dollar has coasted for a generation will quickly turn vicious.

Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets and Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse. His latest book is The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy, How to Save Yourself and Your Country.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-dollar-collapse-where-is-germanys-gold/5321894

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Pushing On A G-String–No Job Recovery And Declining Prices Results In Federal Reserve Buying Govenment Debt To Spur Economic Growth By Expanding Money Supply–Videos

Posted on August 10, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Strategy, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

“…Pushing on a string is a metaphor for influence that is more effective in moving things in one direction than another – you can pull, but not push.

If something is connected to you by a string, you can move it toward you by pulling on the string, but you can’t move it away from you by pushing on the string. It is often used in the context of economic policy, specifically the view that “Monetary policy [is] asymmetric; it being easier to stop an expansion than to end a severe contraction.”[1]
…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pushing_on_a_string

G-string humor

http://www.shadowstats.com/

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/money-supply-charts

http://nowandfutures.com/key_stats.html

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/10/news/economy/fed_decision/index.htm

Fed To Buy More Government Debt; Rates Remain Low

Federal Reserve to buy long-term Treasury debt, keeps target rate unchanged

Bob McTeer – FOMC Meeting

Bob McTeer – Deflation

Quantitative Easing Only Tool Left for Fed

Paulsen Says Tech, Consumer Stocks May Be Poised to Rise: Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vdnZ5GNMnY

Fed Looks to Spur Growth by Buying Government Debt

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-10/fed-to-reinvest-principal-on-mortgage-proceeds-into-long-term-treasuries.html

O’Sullivan Sees Pressure on Fed to Signal Policy Easing: Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ4hMc8QTY8

Reinhart Sees New Round of Quantitative Easing by Fed: Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECF9B3zQIv8

David Rovelli Discusses Investment Strategy, Fed Policy: Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFTXR7WHa0Y

Jim Rogers on The Federal Reserve

Inflation Is A Sinister Beast – If You Uncage It, It Will Decimate The Economy 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTxouHJ98i0

 

The Federal Reserve recognizes that a jobless recovery is not a recovery at all and the Bush Obama Depression is only continuing and getting worse.

The Federal Reserve statement is misleading when it comes to the state of the economy and future prospects:

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending on equipment and software is rising; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract. Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20100810a.htm

Fully expect unemployment rates measured by U-3, the official unemployment rate, to exceed 9% and by U-6, the real unemployment rate, to exceed 15% for the next two to three years.

This means that between 14 and 24 million Americans will be unemployed over the next two year.

During the worst months of the Great Depression in 1933, the number of unemployed Americans was about 13 million.

This would indeed be a very modest recovery in the near term.

Actually it means the Bush Obama Depression will last well into 2014.

Yes there will be positive economic growth in terms of output or production numbers.

No there will not be a recovery in terms of jobs for the “near term”–two or three years!

Disregard all the nonsense about a double dip recession, we are in a depression with over 20% of the American work force looking for full time work.

The Federal Reserve bears much of the responsibility for creating this mess or financial crisis by having an expansionary or easy money policy to promote the profits of the commercial banks during the real estate “boom” or “bubble.”

Bernanke: Why are we still listening to this guy?

Peter Schiff on Ben Bernanke Confirmation

The Federal Reserve will leave the Federal Funds rate at a target rate of between 0% to .25% for the foreseeable future.

The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20100810a.htm

This statement only confirms that the Federal Reserve fully expects the Bush Obama Depression to last another two years or more.

The Federal Reserve will gradually expand the money supply by engaging in open market operations by buying Government Treasury Notes with Federal Reserve Notes on the interest earned from its existing portfolio of assets.

To help support the economic recovery in a context of price stability, the Committee will keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in longer-term Treasury securities.1 The Committee will continue to roll over the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities as they mature.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20100810a.htm

Over the last two years the Federal Reserve purchased over $1 trillion in debt securities backed by mortgages and government-sponsored mortgages from such firms as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Debt and Deficits

On Tuesday the Federal Reserve announced it would reinvest principle payments from these maturing securities into long-term Treasurys by purchasing 2-year and 10-year Treasury Notes. The amount purchased over the next year will amount to about $100 billion in additional purchasers of Treasurys.

Unfortunately, this expansionary monetary policy is not going to work.

The Fed is pushing on a string, the G-string of Giant Government.

The real problem is the uncertainty being generated by the Obama Administration in the form of government intervention into the U.S. economy including mandated health care plans, financial regulation, energy regulation, and proposed new taxes on energy and higher tax rates by letting the Bush tax rate cuts expire at the end of 2010.

Both small and medium size businesses see that the Obama Administration is expanding the size and scope of government.

The only conclusion is this can only lead to more and higher taxes that will largely come from small and medium size businesses that create the jobs and wealth.

As a result most small and medium size businesses are simply not hiring and many are still laying-off employees as business declines.

What will it take for an expansionary monetary policy to work.

Fundamental changes in fiscal policy on both the spending and tax revenue side.

A major reduction in Federal expenditures would require the shutting down of ten Federal Departments.

Milton Friedman on Libertarianism (Part 4 of 4)

 

President Obama simply will not cut spending by closing down entire Federal Departments.

President Obama wants to do the exact opposite by expanding or increasing the budgets of most Federal Departments.

Obama lacks both the constrained vision and courage to even attempt such a fiscal policy.

The only thing left then is tax reform.This would require the replacement of all existing income and payroll taxes with a broad based national consumption sales tax such as the FairTax.

The FairTax: It’s Time

Again President Obama simply does not have the courage to take on the base of the progressive radical socialist Democratic Party.

Instead President Obama wants to add new taxes, either a cap-and-trade energy tax and/or a value added tax on top of all existing taxes.

These taxes if passed would only make the Bush Obama Depression last well into 2014.

This is much like what President Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the 1930s by increasing income tax rates and expanding consumption taxes on certain goods and service.

As a result the U.S. economy did not recover from the Great Depression until 1946.

Robert Higgs on Economic Prospects for 2010

To summarize, the Obama Administration’s fiscal policies will only make the recession last much longer.

Thus Obama’s fiscal policy dooms to failure the Federal Reserve’s expansionary monetary policy.

Until the current political regime is change, expect no progress and little confidence by businesses and consumers.

More taxes and more government spending is not a plan, it is an economic catastrophe.

The result will be an inflationary depression–The Bush Obama Depression!

Time to end the banking cartel of the Federal Reserve System whose only function is protect banking profits and pass along banking losses to the American people.

Gary North knows and understands that the Federal Reserve System is a banking cartel and really does love to push the string while over 30 million Americans look for a full time job:

“…The FED knows it is pushing on a string. It loves that string. Why? Because that limp string – no commercial bank lending – delays the advent of price inflation. This has enabled the FED to achieve the following by doubling the monetary base (the FED’s balance sheet):

1. Bail out the big banks (asset swaps)
2. Keep the banking system from imploding
3. Bail out the Federal government
4. Bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
5. Keep real estate from collapsing
6. Slow price inflation to close to zero
7. Keep T-bill rates under 0.5%

At what cost? Unemployed workers. That is a small price to pay if you are a high-salary central banker with a fully funded pension.

The FED’s policies have not failed. They have succeeded beyond Bernanke’s wildest expectations. Greenspan’s bubbles are all popped. Price inflation is gone. There is no price deflation, either. For the first time since 1955, the FED has attained its mandate from Congress: price stability. …”

End The Fed Now!

The Cash Drop

Background Articles and Videos

Pushing on a String

by Gary North

“…The FED knows it is pushing on a string. It loves that string. Why? Because that limp string – no commercial bank lending – delays the advent of price inflation. This has enabled the FED to achieve the following by doubling the monetary base (the FED’s balance sheet):

1. Bail out the big banks (asset swaps)
2. Keep the banking system from imploding
3. Bail out the Federal government
4. Bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
5. Keep real estate from collapsing
6. Slow price inflation to close to zero
7. Keep T-bill rates under 0.5%

At what cost? Unemployed workers. That is a small price to pay if you are a high-salary central banker with a fully funded pension.

The FED’s policies have not failed. They have succeeded beyond Bernanke’s wildest expectations. Greenspan’s bubbles are all popped. Price inflation is gone. There is no price deflation, either. For the first time since 1955, the FED has attained its mandate from Congress: price stability.

Greenspan’s FED never attained the power over the economy that Bernanke’s FED now possesses. The FED has been given almost complete regulatory control over the financial system. Congress buckled. Bernanke has been given a free ride. The Federal government now owns General Motors. Keynesianism is having its greatest revival in 30 years.

So far, the FED has won. Yet deflationists argue that the economy is in a deflationary spiral that the FED cannot prevent. They do not know what they are talking about. They never have.

CONCLUSION

The Federal Reserve can re-ignite monetary inflation at any time by charging banks a fee to keep excess reserves with the FED.

Anyone who predicts an inevitable price deflation does not understand that the present scenario is the product of legitimately terrified bankers and the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. At any time, the FED can get all of the banks’ money lent. But the FED knows that this will double the money supply within weeks. This will create mass price inflation.

This is the central fact in the inflation vs. deflation debate. Until the deflationists answer it with a unified voice, they will remain, as their predecessors remained, people with neither a theoretical nor a practical case for their position.

So, the FED waits. Meanwhile, the Federal government’s share of the economy rises relentlessly because of the deficits. This is not going to change in the next few years.

We are seeing Keynesianism’s last stand. When it fails, the FED will force the banks to lend. Then we will see mass inflation.

Mass deflation? Forget about it. …”

http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north722.html

 

Federal Reserve System Crisis

End The Fed! – Why the Federal Reserve Must Be Abolished!

Fiat Empire – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution 1 of 6

Fiat Empire – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution 2 of 6

Fiat Empire – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution 3 of 6

Fiat Empire – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution 4 of 6

Fiat Empire – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution 5 of 6

Fiat Empire – Why the Federal Reserve Violates the US Constitution 6 of 6

“…Release Date: August 10, 2010

For immediate release

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the pace of recovery in output and employment has slowed in recent months. Household spending is increasing gradually, but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit. Business spending on equipment and software is rising; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls. Housing starts remain at a depressed level. Bank lending has continued to contract. Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.

Measures of underlying inflation have trended lower in recent quarters and, with substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time.

The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.

To help support the economic recovery in a context of price stability, the Committee will keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level by reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in longer-term Treasury securities.1 The Committee will continue to roll over the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury securities as they mature.

The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and will employ its policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; James Bullard; Elizabeth A. Duke; Donald L. Kohn; Sandra Pianalto; Eric S. Rosengren; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Kevin M. Warsh.

Voting against the policy was Thomas M. Hoenig, who judges that the economy is recovering modestly, as projected. Accordingly, he believed that continuing to express the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted and limits the Committee’s ability to adjust policy when needed. In addition, given economic and financial conditions, Mr. Hoenig did not believe that keeping constant the size of the Federal Reserve’s holdings of longer-term securities at their current level was required to support a return to the Committee’s policy objectives. …”

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20100810a.htm

Quantitative easing

E5. Introduction to Monetary Policy

Quantitative Easing  

“…The term quantitative easing (QE) describes a form of monetary policy used by central banks to increase the supply of money in an economy when the bank interest rate, discount rate and/or interbank interest rate are either at, or close to, zero.[citation needed] A central bank does this by first crediting its own account with money it has created ex nihilo (“out of nothing”).[1] It then purchases financial assets, including government bonds and corporate bonds, from banks and other financial institutions in a process referred to as open market operations. The purchases, by way of account deposits, give banks the excess reserves required for them to create new money by the process of deposit multiplication from increased lending in the fractional reserve banking system. The increase in the money supply thus stimulates the economy. Risks include the policy being more effective than intended, spurring hyperinflation, or the risk of not being effective enough, if banks opt simply to pocket the additional cash in order to increase their capital reserves in a climate of increasing defaults in their present loan portfolio.[1]

“Quantitative” refers to the fact that a specific quantity of money is being created; “easing” refers to reducing the pressure on banks.[2] However, another explanation is that the name comes from the Japanese-language expression for “stimulatory monetary policy”, which uses the term “easing”.[3] Quantitative easing is sometimes colloquially described as “printing money” although in reality the money is simply created by electronically adding a number to an account. Examples of economies where this policy has been used include Japan during the early 2000s, and the United States and United Kingdom during the global financial crisis of 2008–2009. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing

Open Market Operations

“…Open market operations–purchases and sales of U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities–are the Federal Reserve’s principal tool for implementing monetary policy. The short-term objective for open market operations is specified by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). This objective can be a desired quantity of reserves or a desired price (the federal funds rate). The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.

The Federal Reserve’s objective for open market operations has varied over the years. During the 1980s, the focus gradually shifted toward attaining a specified level of the federal funds rate, a process that was largely complete by the end of the decade. Beginning in 1994, the FOMC began announcing changes in its policy stance, and in 1995 it began to explicitly state its target level for the federal funds rate. Since February 2000, the statement issued by the FOMC shortly after each of its meetings usually has included the Committee’s assessment of the risks to the attainment of its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. …”

http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/openmarket.htm

The Discount Rate

“…The discount rate is the interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository institutions on loans they receive from their regional Federal Reserve Bank’s lending facility–the discount window. The Federal Reserve Banks offer three discount window programs to depository institutions: primary credit, secondary credit, and seasonal credit, each with its own interest rate. All discount window loans are fully secured.

Under the primary credit program, loans are extended for a very short-term (usually overnight) to depository institutions in generally sound financial condition. Depository institutions that are not eligible for primary credit may apply for secondary credit to meet short-term liquidity needs or to resolve severe financial difficulties. Seasonal credit is extended to relatively small depository institutions that have recurring intra-year fluctuations in funding needs, such as banks in agricultural or seasonal resort communities.

The discount rate charged for primary credit (the primary credit rate) is set above the usual level of short-term market interest rates. (Because primary credit is the Federal Reserve’s main discount window program, the Federal Reserve at times uses the term “discount rate” to mean the primary credit rate.) The discount rate on secondary credit is above the rate on primary credit. The discount rate for seasonal credit is an average of selected market rates. Discount rates are established by each Reserve Bank’s board of directors, subject to the review and determination of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The discount rates for the three lending programs are the same across all Reserve Banks except on days around a change in the rate. …”

http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/discountrate.htm

Federal Funds Rate

“…In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which private depository institutions (mostly banks) lend balances (federal funds) at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions, usually overnight.[1] It is the interest rate banks charge each other for loans.[2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses Open market operations to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy[3] to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate. The target value is known as the neutral federal funds rate[4]. At this rate, growth rate of real GDP is stable in relation to Long Run Aggregate Supply at the expected inflation rate.

U.S. banks and thrift institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[5] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accounts, NOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007-2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The nominal rate is a target set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce primarily by open market operations. That nominal rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual Fed funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it can set a specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_funds_rate

Money Supply

“…In economics, the money supply or money stock, is the total amount of money available in an economy at a particular point in time.[1] There are several ways to define “money,” but standard measures usually include currency in circulation and demand deposits (depositors’ easily-accessed assets on the books of financial institutions).[2][3]

Money supply data are recorded and published, usually by the government or the central bank of the country. Public and private sector analysts have long monitored changes in money supply because of its possible effects on the price level, inflation and the business cycle.[4]

That relation between money and prices is historically associated with the quantity theory of money. There is strong empirical evidence of a direct relation between long-term price inflation and money-supply growth, at least for rapid increases in the amount of money in the economy. That is, a country such as Zimbabwe which saw rapid increases in its money supply also saw rapid increases in prices (hyperinflation). This is one reason for the reliance on monetary policy as a means of controlling inflation in the U.S.[5][6] This causal chain is contentious, however: some heterodox economists argue that the money supply is endogenous (determined by the workings of the economy, not by the central bank) and that the sources of inflation must be found in the distributional structure of the economy.[7] In addition to some economists’ seeing the central bank’s control over the money supply as feeble, many would also say that there are two weak links between the growth of the money supply and the inflation rate: first, an increase in the money supply can cause a sustained increase in real production instead of inflation in the aftermath of a recession, when many resources are underutilized. Second, if the velocity of money, i.e., the ratio between nominal GDP and money supply changes, an increase in the money supply could have either no effect, an exaggerated effect, or an unpredictable effect on the growth of nominal GDP. …”

“…Money is used as a medium of exchange, in final settlement of a debt, and as a ready store of value. Its different functions are associated with different empirical measures of the money supply. There is no single “correct” measure of the money supply: instead, there are several measures, classified along a spectrum or continuum between narrow and broad monetary aggregates. Narrow measures include only the most liquid assets, the ones most easily used to spend (currency, checkable deposits). Broader measures add less liquid types of assets (certificates of deposit, etc.)

This continuum corresponds to the way that different types of money are more or less controlled by monetary policy. Narrow measures include those more directly affected and controlled by monetary policy, whereas broader measures are less closely related to monetary-policy actions.[6] It is a matter of perennial debate as to whether narrower or broader versions of the money supply have a more predictable link to nominal GDP.

The different types of money are typically classified as “M”s. The “M”s usually range from M0 (narrowest) to M3 (broadest) but which “M”s are actually used depends on the country’s central bank. The typical layout for each of the “M”s is as follows:

Type of money M0 MB M1 M2 M3 MZM
Notes and coins (currency) in circulation (outside Federal Reserve Banks, and the vaults of depository institutions) V[8] V V V V V
Notes and coins (currency) in bank vaults V[8] V
Federal Reserve Bank credit (minimum reserves and excess reserves) V
traveler’s checks of non-bank issuers V V V V
demand deposits V V V V
other checkable deposits (OCDs), which consist primarily of negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts at depository institutions and credit union share draft accounts. V[9] V V V
savings deposits V V V
time deposits less than $100,000 and money-market deposit accounts for individuals V V
large time deposits, institutional money market funds, short-term repurchase and other larger liquid assets[10] V
all money market funds V

M0: In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, M0 includes bank reserves, so M0 is referred to as the monetary base, or narrow money.[11]
MB: is referred to as the monetary base or total currency.[8] This is the base from which other forms of money (like checking deposits, listed below) are created and is traditionally the most liquid measure of the money supply.[12]
M1: Bank reserves are not included in M1.
M2: represents money and “close substitutes” for money.[13] M2 is a broader classification of money than M1. Economists use M2 when looking to quantify the amount of money in circulation and trying to explain different economic monetary conditions. M2 is a key economic indicator used to forecast inflation.[14]
M3: Since 2006, M3 is no longer published or revealed to the public by the US central bank.[15] However, there are still estimates produced by various private institutions.
MZM: Money with zero maturity. It measures the supply of financial assets redeemable at par on demand.
The ratio of a pair of these measures, most often M2/M0, is called an (actual, empirical) money multiplier. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money_supply

“Ben Bernanke Has Never Gotten Anything Right,” Peter Schiff Says: Fed Officials Respond

The Dollar Bubble

Peter Schiff Calls Fed Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke A Liar

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