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Why The Flyover Zone Is Hurting——–Bubble Finance Is Strictly For The Bicoastal Elites

by David Stockman, David Stockman’s Contra Corner:

We are now in month 83 of this so-called recovery. Yet there are still 45 million people on food stamps——one out of every seven Americans. The median real household income is still 5% below its level in the fall of 2007. There are still only 71 million full-time, full-pay “breadwinner” jobs in the nation—–nearly 2 million fewer than when Bill Clinton was packing his bags to vacate the White House.

At the same time, we have had monetary stimulus like never before. There has been 90 straight months of virtually zero interest rates. The balance sheet of the Fed has been expanded by $3.5 trillion. For point of reference, that is 4X more than all the bond-buying during the entire first 94 years of the Fed’s history.

So something doesn’t parse, and that’s to put it charitably. The truth is, the Fed’s entire radical regime of ZIRP and QE constitutes a monumental monetary fraud.

So something doesn’t parse, and that’s to put it charitably. The truth is, the Fed’s entire radical regime of ZIRP and QE constitutes a monumental monetary fraud.

It has not “stimulated” a wit the struggling main street economy of flyover America. Instead, it has showered Wall Street speculators with trillions of windfall gains and gifted the bicoastal elites with a false prosperity derived from financial inflation and government expansion.

Herein follows an initial bill of particulars. We show that the “recovery” narrative endlessly trumpeted by the Fed and its fellow travelers on Wall Street and in the financial media does not remotely reflect on the ground economic reality; it derives almost entirely from a narrow band of badly flawed and thoroughly misleading labor market indicators and other faulty “incoming data” from the Washington statistical mills.

To begin with the most obvious example, consider the graph below on industrial production of consumer goods. The whole point of ultra-low interest rates is obviously to induce households to borrow and spend, and thereby trigger a virtuous cycle of rising demand, increasing production, more jobs and income and even more consumer spending. That’s Keynes 101.

Yet after seven years of massive monetary stimulus, domestic production of consumer goods is still 9.1% below its pre-crisis peak, and at a level first reached in early 1999!

Never once in its post-meeting blather about a steadily “improving” domestic economy has the Fed noted this fundamental rebuke to its entire ideology.

After all, if you are priming the pump with trillions of inducements for households to borrow and spend, why has consumer goods production remained in the sub-basement of its historical trend line and “recovered” at such a tepid rate?

Read More @ DavidStockmansContraCorner.com

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