Last week, we made a very controversial statement. We are happy to write the truth, and let the chips fall where they may (e.g. our thoughtful disagreement with Ted Butler about price manipulation). We can accept the flak that we get for this, so long as our position is understood. Some criticized our approach as mere technical analysis, and therefore insufficient to the task of explaining the dynamics of the gold and silver markets. But whether we quibble with this characterization of our work or not, we believe that the points we made and the unique data we published stand. No one, including Mr. Butler, responded substantively to our data or logic. People can read and choose sides, and we’re OK with that.
But last week, we said something that we feel was not well understood. And it is one of the most important ideas in monetary economics, and the key to understanding banking.
The Federal Reserve, of course, is a key participant in this monetary inflation scheme. Does the Fed have a printing press? Does the Fed print?
Like any bank, the Fed borrows to fund its purchases of interest-paying assets. It earns a spread between what it pays (currently about 1.25%) and what its asset portfolio pays (over 2%)… Unlike any commercial bank, there is a law that obligates us to treat the Fed’s liabilities as if they were money.
Borrowing is pretty close to the opposite of printing. So how is it possible that there is so much contention on this issue? Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, in Austrian circles, there is little contention: Monetary Metals are just heretics!
This post was published at GoldSeek on Monday, 27 November 2017.