Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research
Since the Financial Crisis erupted in 2007, the US Federal Reserve has engaged in dozens of interventions/ bailouts to try and prop up the financial system. Now, I realize that everyone knows the Fed is “printing money.” However, when you look at the list of bailouts/ money pumps it’s absolutely staggering how much money the Fed has thrown around.
Here’s a recap of some of the larger Fed moves during the Crisis:
- Cutting interest rates from 5.25-0.25% (Sept ’07-today).
- The Bear Stearns deal/ taking on $30 billion in junk mortgages (Mar ’08).
- Opening various lending windows to investment banks (Mar ’08).
- Hank Paulson spends $400 billion on Fannie/ Freddie (Sept ’08).
- The Fed takes over insurance company AIG for $85 billion (Sept ’08).
- The Fed doles out $25 billion for the automakers (Sept ’08)
- The Fed kicks off the $700 billion TARP program (Oct ’08)
- The Fed buys commercial paper from non-financial firms (Oct ’08)
- The Fed offers $540 billion to backstop money market funds (Oct ’08)
- The Fed agrees to back up to $280 billion of Citigroup’s liabilities (Oct ’08).
- $40 billion more to AIG (Nov ’08)
- The Fed backstops $140 billion of Bank of America’s liabilities (Jan ’09)
- Obama’s $787 Billion Stimulus (Jan ’09)
- QE 1 buys $1.25 trillion in Treasuries and mortgage debt (March ’09)
- QE lite buys $200-300 billion of Treasuries and mortgage debt (Aug ’10)
- QE 2 buys $600 billion in Treasuries (Nov ’10)
- Operation Twist reshuffles $400 billion of the Fed’s portfolio (Oct ’11)
- QE 3 buys $40 billion of Mortgage Backed Securities monthly (Sept ‘12)
- QE 4 buys $45 billion worth of Treasuries monthly (Dec ’12)
The Fed is not the only one. Collectively, the world’s Central Banks have pumped over $10 trillion into the financial system since 2007. This money printing has resulted in a massive expansion of Central Bank balance sheets, spread inflation into the system, and done nothing to address the key solvency issues that lead up to the great crisis.
This competitive debasement has lead to increased tension between the world’s Central Banks. You will never hear their stated outright for the simple reason that the single most important responsibility of the Central Banks is to maintain confidence in the system.
However, underneath the veneer of goodwill and the occasional necessary coordinated intervention, tensions are rising between Central Banks. When the US debases the US Dollar it pushes the Euro higher. This hurts German exports which in turn angers the Bundesbank.