Thursday, 19 March 2009
Taken from today's New York Times
Fed to Buy $1 Trillion in Securities to Aid Economy
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
Published: March 18, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve sharply stepped up its efforts to bolster the economy on Wednesday, announcing that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities.
Having already reduced the key interest rate it controls nearly to zero, the central bank has increasingly turned to alternatives like buying securities as a way of getting more dollars into the economy, a tactic that amounts to creating vast new sums of money out of thin air. But the moves on Wednesday were its biggest yet, almost doubling all of the Fed’s measures in the last year.
Hmmm. The long term effects of this are not very forecastable. At least not by me. My feeling is that it's more of the same "invented money" that the Federal Reserve has been "creating" since the year dot to "expand" and "grow" things. In short, I think it is even more of the same unsustainable fiscal shenanigans that got us into this mess.
I get this image of things like this being analogous to climbing higher up a tall building whose lower levels are on fire. It can be argued that the fire is now further away from you but when it finally catches up and consumes the foundations, your eventual fall with the building will be so much worse. This may be similar to global overpopulation and the various other exponential growth type scenarios that threaten us.
Since the days when Malthus predicted doom and, in the 70's, when the Club of Rome did similarly, we have retreated further up the burning building using new technology and freely available oil to go higher and higher. Short of some miraculous new power source, or expanding into space, we are reaching the limits of what we can do. We only have the equivalent of 150 metres square per person of planetary surface to extract all our demands from...
Posted by Nick Palmer at 10:48