When Boom Turns Into Crack-Up Boom
Slow Joe Biden’s moving fast. His parade of remarkable measures is marching in double time. On Day 1 alone, the new President of the USA signed 15 executive orders and 2 executive agency directives. Surely, he got writer’s cramp. Here’s a partial summary of what all was covered…
By executive order, President Biden promises to save the environment by rejoining the Paris climate accord. He also promises to weaken America’s energy security by terminating the Keystone XL pipeline.
In addition, Biden’s getting America mixed up with the World Health Organization again. And to keep you safe, he’s ordered one hundred days of masking.
Biden’s a job creator too. One of his orders established a position called the COVID-19 response coordinator. We imagine the job has excellent benefits.
There’s also good news if you can’t pay your rent or mortgage. Biden’s extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until March 31, possibly longer. And if you can’t pay back your student loans…no worries. Biden’s extended the hold on student loan payments until at least September 30.
There’s also Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which includes $1,400 stimmy checks, already making its way through Congress. Behind that, from what we gather, will be a great big infrastructure package full of boondoggles galore.
Will all this spending boost the economy? Perhaps it will. But only if you consider maxing out credit cards a viable means for boosting a family’s monthly budget.
Regardless, at this rate, come spring, the whole country will be even more miserable under Biden than it was under Trump.
Adventures in Social Reconstruction
Biden may have solemnly sworn to support the Constitution of the United States. But what good’s a man’s word these days if he can’t contradict it with bold and decisive action?
Protecting citizens’ freedom and their private property sounds good when taking an oath. It’s the duty of the President to solemnly swear. Adventures in social reconstruction, however, are much more appealing to the archetypical insider President like Biden – one beholden to special interests. What’s more, the people demand it.
They want free paychecks, free drugs, free food, free rent, free school, free energy, debt free loans… You name it. They want it all. And they want much, Much, MORE. Thus, Biden intends to give it to them.
Champions of free money theories, including big stimulus, have been elevated to deliver these dizzying demands. On Tuesday, incoming Secretary of Treasury, Janet Yellen, provided a statement to the Senate Finance Committee during her confirmation hearing. Her solicitation for more stimulus included this choice rationale:
“But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big. In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time.”
How creating money from thin air and distributing it to a growing class of dependents is supposed to help people is unclear. But what is clear is that free money debases the rewards of hard work, saving money, and paying one’s way in life. It also propels the economy and financial system to an ever more precarious place…a place where only total catastrophe is possible.
Here’s what we mean…
When Boom Turns Into Crack-Up Boom
U.S. dollar printing in its current form is a crude procedure. The Treasury issues debt. The Federal Reserve then expands its balance sheet, creating credit from nothing, and loans it to the Treasury. The U.S. government then spends the debt based money into the economy via federal contracts, programs, and, now, stimmy checks.
Naturally, fraud is inherent to this central planner directed process. And as credit expansion pumps money through the economy, wild and unpredictable things happen. Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, in his work, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, explained:
“Credit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump.”
But what happens if a credit expansion is followed with an additional expansion of credit? Does the debt ever have to be repaid? With enough credit based money, can’t the economic depression be postponed forever?
Again, we turn to Mises, this time his economic treatise, Human Action, for edification:
“If the credit expansion is not stopped in time, the boom turns into the crack-up boom; the flight into real values begins, and the whole monetary system founders.”
The boom brought about by credit expansion at the beginning of the new millennium ended in 2008 with a massive financial crisis and economic recession. The mammoth credit expansion that followed, floated the economy up on a rising tide of debt. But it was not self-sustaining.
More and more credit has been needed to merely prop up GDP. Economic growth’s dependent on greater and greater issuances of credit. Without it a general economic depression would occur.
Perversely, the stability of the debt structure depends on additional credit and rising asset prices. These, of course, ultimately make things more unstable. Nevertheless, even with massive inflation of the money supply, central bankers are worried about deflation…not inflation.
Prices – including stocks, real estate, and college tuition – levitated by earlier credit expansions want to come down. Central bankers want to push them up.
When central planners shut down the economy last year to bend the coronavirus transmission curve they succeeded in collapsing the debt structure. Putting moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures and placing a hold on student loan payments doesn’t solve this. Nor does printing up trillions after trillions of dollars and pumping it into the economy as ‘stimulus’ to counteract the collapse.
The rapid vaporization of wealth the central planners have set us up for will be of scope and scale the world has never before seen. We don’t know if the bottom will fall out next year or five years from now. But we’re certain the boom has turned into the crack-up boom.
Here we’ll leave the final words to Mises, Human Action:
“The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.”