Bank of England extends quantitative easing to £200 billion

Quantitative easing is creating money out of thin air or “printing money.”
Quantitative easing increases the money supply, creates inflation and devalues the currency.
Inflation is a hidden tax. Quantitative easing is absolute stealing from the people.

“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
– John Maynard Keynes

“In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.”
– Alan Greenspan


BoE warned that UK banks are still failing to provide enough credit to businesses and households as it held interest rates at 0.5%

quantitative-easing
Steve Bell, The Guardian, Friday 6 November 2009

The Bank of England will expand its programme of money creation by £25bn over the next three months to boost Britain’s recession-hit economy, Threadneedle Street announced today as it left interest rates unchanged again.

Warning that UK banks are still failing to provide enough credit to businesses and households, the Bank said it would increase the size of quantitative easing (QE) to £200bn.

The Bank’s nine-strong monetary policy committee also pegged bank rate at its record low level of 0.5%, where it has been since March. It said cheap borrowing and QE were needed to prevent inflation falling below its 2% target.

In a statement, the Bank said: “On balance, the committee believes that the prospect is for slow recovery in the level of economic activity, so that a substantial margin of under-utilised resources persists.”

Although the Bank said there were signs of recovery in the world economy, it added that output in the UK had dropped by 6% since the start of a recession that has now lasted for six quarters, the longest period of decline since records began in 1955. “Households have reduced their spending substantially and businesses investment has fallen especially sharply,” the statement said.

Offiicial data released today showed that manufacturing output improved in September, and the MPC said that there were signs a “a pick-up in economic activity may soon be evident”.

Under the QE programme, the Bank of England buys bonds from the commercial banks, thereby providing lenders with extra cash to lend. It received permission from the chancellor, Alistair Darling, to extend the scheme.

Read moreBank of England extends quantitative easing to £200 billion

We Are Facing a Total Breakdown of Financial Markets

Red alert:

Get out of the stock market. This is a trap. Take a close look at the P/E ratio. The ‘real’ next leg down in the stock market will be a bloodbath.

Gerald Celente: ‘Their is no recovery; It’s a coverup. We are already in the Greatest Depression.’

CIT Bankruptcy Filing Expected in Days; $2.3 Billion Taxpayer Money to Be Wiped Out; Goldman Sachs Receives $285 Million In Termination Fees:
“With $71 billion in assets, CIT would have the fifth-largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.”

(Every investor is fully responsible for his/her own actions, actually for his/her entire life. Blaming others is a sign of weakness. It is giving your power away to others and leaves oneself in the position of a pathetic, powerless victim.)


bear-market

By Bob Chapman

Insiders at corporations are selling with glee. Thirty times more sell orders than buy orders.

During September and October we still saw short covering. We also see that 73% of NYSE trading was of the black box variety, program trading. There are 16 firms front-running all market trades and the SEC refuses to do anything about it, so that Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan chase can further enrich themselves, illegally. The SEC calls it flash-trading not what it really is, stealing. And, yes, the SEC still refuses to stop naked shorting, which is also illegal – another trove of riches for the anointed insiders at Illuminati run brokerage firms. The remainder of the market strength comes from banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies who are leveraging funds received from the Treasury and the Fed, some $12.7 trillion. That is what this really is all about.

This is the first time ever that the S&P 500 has ever rallied 60% in six months. The Dow reached 10,000, when it should not have exceeded 8,500. That shows you the distortion and manipulation going on and points up the now blatant activities of the President’s “Working Group on Financial Markets,” which, of course, operates in secret. As a tribute to this phony rally we have lost 2.5 million jobs over its tenure, when two million are normally created. Are there no professionals out there that get it? They cannot all be that dumb, and they are not that dumb. They are engaging in a conspiracy of silence. They want to be thought well by their peers at the club. They do not want to be ostracized in the Wall Street click. We know we were there for 28 years, of course, always on the outside looking in, permanently known as goldie. If you want to see where the US stock market is eventually going take a look at Japan from 1992 to today. 70% losses and still unable to get out of its own way with an economy still in depression. Incidentally, if the US market copies Japan, which we believe it will, we could easily fall to 3,800 to 4,200 on the Dow and we’ll be very lucky if it holds there. Others whose opinion we respect are looking for 2,800. Wall Street is pricing into the market earnings not only for 2010 but 2011 as well, which is very dangerous in such an environment. We are still in the worst credit crisis since the 1930s.

Trailing P/E on operating earnings is 27 times. When the Dow was 14,168 in 2007, it was 18.8 times. Reported trailing earnings are 180 times, whereas in 10/07, it was 23.4 times. In 10/87, it was 20.3 times. That should give you something to think about if you are in the market. Normally P/E’s should be 14.5 times.
Instead of chasing an overpriced goose you should be participating in the bull markets in gold, silver and commodities. That is where safety, preservation of capital and possible large gains are to be found, both short and long term. Why fiddle with an overextended bear market rally when you can gain in relative safety. Get rid of those bonds, stocks, CDs, cash value life insurance policies and annuities, which are really uninsured and in the stock market waiting to again fall 40% to 70% in value. The crisis is not over; it is still in the beginning.

The Fed and Wall Street tell us the recession is over and soon policy actions will continue to a gradual resumption of sustainable economic growth. They see no inflation ahead, only the 1.2% presently. Needless to say, they are well aware that real inflation is 6.11%.

Read moreWe Are Facing a Total Breakdown of Financial Markets

Economist Andrew Smithers: S&P 500 Overvalued by 40%, Set to Fall

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Eric Schumacher, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Oct. 14, 2009. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is about 40 percent overvalued and headed for a drop as central banks pull back on securities purchases that pushed up asset prices, according to economist Andrew Smithers.

Declines are likely because banks will need to sell more shares to raise capital, the economist and president of research firm Smithers & Co. said in an Oct. 23 interview at Bloomberg’s Tokyo office. The closing price on Oct. 23 of 1,079.6 was 40 percent above 771.14, a level last seen in March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

“Markets are very vulnerable to an end of quantitative easing,” said Smithers, 72, who recommended avoiding stocks in 2000 just as the U.S. benchmark entered a two-year bear market. “Central banks, they’ve got to stop some time and if that happens everything will come down.”

Read moreEconomist Andrew Smithers: S&P 500 Overvalued by 40%, Set to Fall

Lindsey Williams on The Alex Jones Show: Economic Warfare Declared on the US

Lindsey Williams on Alex Jones: ‘The Elite have changed there Timeline’ – ‘Within two years you will not recognize America’ – ‘War is planned after two years, starting in the middle east area and spreading to the entire world’

Alex continues his discussion with pastor Lindsey Williams about the plans of the elite to crash the economy.

Added: 23rd Oct 09

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Read moreLindsey Williams on The Alex Jones Show: Economic Warfare Declared on the US

Gerald Celente: ‘Their is no recovery; It’s a coverup. We are already in the Greatest Depression.’

“We are already in the Greatest Depression.”


Date: 19th Oct 09

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about. – CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

Read moreGerald Celente: ‘Their is no recovery; It’s a coverup. We are already in the Greatest Depression.’

DOW at 10,000!!! Oh Wait, Make That 7,537

Another great representation of the amazing loss of purchasing power by the US public are today’s oblivious statements about the Dow at 10,000.

While in absolute terms the Dow may cross whatever the Fed thinks is a necessary and sufficient mark before QE (Quantitative Easing) begins to taper off (Dow crosses 10k just as Treasury purchases expire), the truth is that over the past 10 years (the first time the DJIA was at 10,000) the dollar has lost 25% of its value.

Therefore, we present the Dow over the last decade indexed for the DXY, which has dropped from 100 to about 75.

On a real basis (not nominal) the Dow at 10,000 ten years ago is equivalent to 7,537 today!

In other words, not only have we had a lost decade for all those who focus on the absolute flatness of the DJIA, but it is also a decade where the US Consumer has lost 25% of purchasing power from the perspective of stocks!

You won’t hear this fact on the MSM.

dowxdxy

And if you want to be really scared, here is the comparable representation for the DJIA in ounces of gold. It cost about 30 ounces to buy the 10,000 Dow last time. Now it costs less than 10.

dowgold

Read moreDOW at 10,000!!! Oh Wait, Make That 7,537

US: The Speculative Bubble in Equities and the Case for Deflation, Stagflation and Implosion

“If the Fed continues to apply monetary stimulus and subsidy into this system, without a significant reform, the dollar will eventually “break” and the real economy will temporarily collapse. This will result in the mother of all stagflation.”

In my opinion the US dollar will collapse, the real economy will collapse, the stock market will collapse, but not only temporarily, unless you see time from the perspective of an oak tree.

Stagflation would be great. It rather looks like a hyperinflationary depression to me.

Let’s see.

German miracle in the US?!:

“The traditional solution has been a military conflict, which stifles dissent against the government while generating artificial demand sufficient to energize the productive economy. It is a means of exporting your social misery, official corruption, and fiscal irresponsibility to another, weaker people.”

“One only has to look at the “German miracle” of the 1930’s to see this progression from artificial stimulus, to domestic seizure of assets, to scapegoating and aggressive wars of acquisition, as described above. But this progress out of economic depression had made Hitler and Mussolini the darlings of Wall Street and the international financiers. Indeed, Time Magazine had even named Hitler their “Man of the Year” for this economic miracle, even though it was a fraudulent house of cards.”

Maybe that is what Obama’s  ‘change’ is all about.

We are living in interesting times. That’s for sure.


As part of their program of ‘quantitative easing’ which is another name for currency devaluation through extraordinary expansion of the monetary base, the Fed has very obviously created an inflationary bubble in the US equity market.

(Click on images to enlarge them)

monetarybase

Why has this happened? Because with a monetary expansion intended to help cure an credit bubble crisis that is not accompanied by significant financial market reform, systemic rebalancing, and government programs to cure and correct past abuses of the productive economy through financial engineering, the hot money given by the Fed and Treasury to the banking system will NOT flow into the real economy, but instead will seek high beta returns in financial assets.

price-earnings-ratio

Why lend to the real economy when one can achieve guaranteed returns from the Fed, and much greater returns in the speculative markets if one has the right ‘connections?’

bankcredit

The monetary stimulus of the Fed and the Treasury to help the economy is similar to relief aid sent to a suffering Third World country. It is intercepted and seized by a despotic regime and allocated to its local warlords, with very little going to help the people.

price-earnings-ratio-2

By far this presents the most compelling case for a deflationary episode. As the money that is created flows into financial assets, it is ‘taxed’ by Wall Street which takes a disproportionately large share in the form of fees and bonuses, and what are likely to be extra-legal trading profits.

If the monetary stimulus is subsequently dissipated as the asset bubble collapses, except that which remains in the hands of the few, it leaves the real economy in a relatively poorer condition to produce real savings and wealth than it had been before. This is because the outsized financial sector continues to sap the vitality from the productive economy, to drag it down, to drain it of needed attention and policy focus.

At the heart of it, quantitative easing that is not part of an overall program to reform, regulate, and renew the system to change and correct the elements that caused the crisis in the first place, is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme. The optimal time to reform the system was with the collapse of LTCM, and prior to the final repeal of Glass-Steagall, and the raging FIRE sector creating serial bubbles.

These injections of monetary stimulus to maintain a false equilibrium is in reality creating an increasingly unsustainable and unstable monetary disequilibrium within the productive economy. As the real economy contracts, the amount of money supply that the economy can sustain without triggering a monetary inflation decreases, and in a nonlinear manner. This is because the money multiplier does not ‘work’ the same in reverse, owing to the ability of private individuals and corporations to default on debt.

Ironically, with each iteration of this stimulus and seizure of wealth, the dollar becomes progressively weaker because there is a smaller productive economy to support it, even if there are less dollars, despite the nominal gains in GDP which are an accounting illusion. This has been further enabled by the dollar’s status as reserve currency backed by nothing since 1971, which has created an enormous overhang of dollars in the hands of other nations.

Read moreUS: The Speculative Bubble in Equities and the Case for Deflation, Stagflation and Implosion

Gerald Celente on the demise of the US dollar: ‘The US is failing on it’s most basic level’


Date: 7th Oct 09

If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente.
– New York Post

When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.
– CNN Headline News

There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about. – CNBC

Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.
– The Wall Street Journal

A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.
– The Economist

Related information:
Glenn Beck: What If Oil Will No Longer Be Traded In US Dollars? Deficit Spending, Printing, Monetizing Debt, The Dollars Demise
Max Keiser on RT: ‘Dollar to be buried way before 2018′
The demise of the US dollar
Iran Replaces The US Dollar With The Euro
US: Hyperinflation Nation
Gerald Celente: 2.5 million jobs lost since Obama’s presidency
Gerald Celente: It is Obamageddon

Bank of England calls unprecedented emergency meeting of economists

Quantitative Easing is ‘printing money’ (creating money out of thin air).

The Bank of England and the government are destroying the pound.
The Fed and the US government are destroying the dollar.
The UK and the US are broke.
The US is in an even worse position than the UK.

Related articles:
Pound Falls to Five Month Low as Bank of England Says Declines ‘Helpful’

Beware Bank of England’s monetary con trick
The dangers of printing money: four lessons from history


The Bank of England has summoned the City’s leading economists to an unprecedented meeting in Threadneedle Street, as the pound plunges amid growing confusion over its radical Quantitative Easing (QE) policy.

bank-of-england-2

The Bank will host a seminar of all London’s major economists next Tuesday – the first time it has invited them in en masse in recent memory – in what has been construed as a sign that it fears market participants are starting to lose faith in its efforts to pump cash into the economy. The move has also sparked speculation that it is poised to announce a major change to the monetary policy framework, although insiders dismissed such suggestions.

It came after the minutes from the Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Committee meeting revealed that the idea of cutting the interest rate banks are paid on the reserves they hold there was not discussed this month. The pound has lurched lower in recent weeks, thanks in part to speculation that the Bank will impose charges on banks for holding excessive amounts of cash in reserve at its vaults. Under QE, it is pumping £175bn into the economy, but much of this cash is sitting in banks’ reserve accounts rather than being recycled and flowing around the broader economy.

The suspicion that the Bank will soon take action to mitigate this has pushed down market interest rates sharply and contributed to an almost 5pc fall in the pound against other leading currencies. It has caused gilt prices and short-term interest rates to fluctuate wildly in recent weeks.

The Bank’s seminar, chaired by deputy Governor Charlie Bean, alongside chief economist Spencer Dale and markets director Paul Fisher, is intended to clear up this confusion. It sparked anticipation in the City not merely because the Bank has a reputation for extreme secrecy, but because some suspect it may come alongside an announcement over the Bank’s reserves policy. Others suspect the Bank is concerned that many think either that QE amounts to printing money, much as Zimbabwe and Weimar Germany did, or that it simply is not working.

Read moreBank of England calls unprecedented emergency meeting of economists

The Federal Reserve is running low on ammo

On Monday the Fed announced it had purchased another $7 billion worth of Treasuries under its quantitative easing program.  Readers will recall that in last week’s FOMC statement, the Fed said it was extending the Treasury purchase program by a month, to the end of October, while maintaining its total purchase commitment of $300 billion.

After today’s $7 billion purchase, the Fed has just $40 billion left.  Spread out over the next 10 weeks, that doesn’t give it very much ammo.  To date, purchases have averaged over $12 billion per week.  That is set to fall to $4 billion.

Because I’m a glutton for this stuff, I thought I’d put together a quick chart showing the progress of the Fed’s Treasury purchase program.

treasury-purchase-program-printing-press-program

Read moreThe Federal Reserve is running low on ammo

US Economy: This is No Recession. It’s a Planned Demolition

Must-read.

See also RBS chief credit strategist issues red alert on global stock markets


ben-bernanke
Bernanke has pulled out all the stops.

Credit is not flowing. In fact, credit is contracting. That means things aren’t getting better; they’re getting worse. When credit contracts in a consumer-driven economy, bad things happen. Business investment drops, unemployment soars, earnings plunge, and GDP shrinks. The Fed has spent more than a trillion dollars trying to get consumers to start borrowing again, but without success. The country’s credit engines are grinding to a halt.

Bernanke has increased excess reserves in the banking system by $800 billion, but lending is still slow. The banks are hoarding capital in order to deal with the losses from toxic assets, non performing loans, and a $3.5 trillion commercial real estate bubble that’s following housing into the toilet. That’s why the rate of bank failures is accelerating. 2010 will be even worse; the list is growing. It’s a bloodbath.

The standards for conventional loans have gotten tougher while the pool of qualified credit-worthy borrowers has shrunk. That means less credit flowing into the system. The shadow banking system has been hobbled by the freeze in securitization and only provides a trifling portion of the credit needed to grow the economy. Bernanke’s initiatives haven’t made a bit of difference. Credit continues to shrivel.

The S&P 500 is up 50 percent from its March lows. The financials, retail, materials and industrials are leading the pack. It’s a “Green Shoots” Bear market rally fueled by the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) which is forcing liquidity into the financial system and lifting equities. The same thing happened during the Great Depression. Stocks surged after 1929. Then the prevailing trend took hold and dragged the Dow down 89 percent from its earlier highs. The S&P’s March lows will be tested before the recession is over. Systemwide deleveraging is ongoing. That won’t change.

No one is fooled by the fireworks on Wall Street. Consumer confidence continues to plummet. Everyone knows things are bad. Everyone knows the media is lying. Credit is contracting; the economy’s life’s blood has slowed to a trickle. The economy is headed for a hard landing.

Bernanke has pulled out all the stops. He’s lowered interest rates to zero, backstopped the entire financial system with $13 trillion, propped up insolvent financial institutions and monetized $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and US sovereign debt. Nothing has worked. Wages are falling, banks are cutting lines of credit, retirement savings have been slashed in half, and home equity losses continue to mount. Living standards can no longer be bandaged together with VISA or Diners Club cards. Household spending has to fit within one’s salary. That’s why retail, travel, home improvement, luxury items and hotels are all down double-digits. The easy money has dried up.

According to Bloomberg:

“Borrowing by U.S. consumers dropped in June for the fifth straight month as the unemployment rate rose, getting loans remained difficult and households put off major purchases. Consumer credit fell $10.3 billion, or 4.92 percent at an annual rate, to $2.5 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve report released today in Washington. Credit dropped by $5.38 billion in May, more than previously estimated. The series of declines is the longest since 1991.

A jobless rate near the highest in 26 years, stagnant wages and falling home values mean consumer spending… will take time to recover even as the recession eases. Incomes fell the most in four years in June as one-time transfer payments from the Obama administration’s stimulus plan dried up, and unemployment is forecast to exceed 10 percent next year before retreating.” (Bloomberg)

What a mess. The Fed has assumed near-dictatorial powers to fight a monster of its own making, and achieved nothing. The real economy is still dead in the water. Bernanke is not getting any traction from his zero-percent interest rates. His monetization program (QE) is just scaring off foreign creditors. On Friday, Marketwatch reported:

“The Federal Reserve will probably allow its $300 billion Treasury-buying program to end over the next six weeks as signs of a housing recovery prompt the central bank to unwind one its most aggressive and unusual interventions into financial markets, big bond dealers say.”

Right. Does anyone believe the housing market is recovering? If so, please check out this chart and keep in mind that, in the first 6 months of 2009, there have already been 1.9 million foreclosures.

delinquencies-and-foreclosures

The Fed is abandoning the printing presses (presumably) because China told Geithner to stop printing money or they’d sell their US Treasuries. It’s a wake-up call to Bernanke that the power is shifting from Washington to Beijing.

That puts Bernanke in a pickle. If he stops printing; interest rates will skyrocket, stocks will crash and housing prices will tumble. But if he continues QE, China will dump their Treasuries and the greenback will vanish in a poof of smoke. Either way, the malaise in the credit markets will persist and personal consumption will continue to sputter.

Read moreUS Economy: This is No Recession. It’s a Planned Demolition

On the Edge with Max Keiser (06/05/09)

Related articles:
Geithner tries to assure Chinese investors, draws laughter from the audience
German Chancellor Angela Merkel Blasts ‘Powers of the Fed’

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Read moreOn the Edge with Max Keiser (06/05/09)

Bond markets defy Fed as Treasury yields spike

The US Federal Reserve may soon be forced to launch fresh blitz of quantitative easing whatever the consequences for the US dollar, or risk seeing economic recovery snuffed out by the latest surge in long-term borrowing costs.

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Market expects Fed will have to double purchases of Treasuries. Photo: Getty Images

Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds have risen relentlessly since March when the Fed first announced its plan to buy $300bn (£188bn) of US government debt directly, a move that briefly forced rates down to nearly 2.5pc, a level thought to be the Fed’s implicit target.

Yields have jumped to 3.69pc – after spiking as high as 3.74pc on Wednesday – pushing up the standard 30-year mortgage loan to 5.08pc and lifting the borrowing cost for corporations.

“The Fed is going to have to consider doubling its purchases of Treasuries,” said Ashraf Laidi, from CMC Capital Markets. “We could be nearing the end-game for the US dollar but the Fed has little choice at this point. We’re in a vicious circle where any policy aimed at supporting the US economy must be at the expense of the dollar.”

Related article:
Marc Faber: U.S. will go into Hyperinflation, Approaching Zimbabwe Levels (Bloomberg)

The US Mortgage Bankers Association yesterday highlighted the fragility of the US housing market, reporting that 12pc of homeowners are either behind on their payments or facing foreclosure, the highest level since records began.

Read moreBond markets defy Fed as Treasury yields spike

Record rise in gilts as Bank of England ‘starts printing presses’

Gilts saw their biggest one-day jump in memory after the Bank of England signalled it was embarking on a policy of money creation for the first time.

The Bank cut interest rates by half a percentage point and committed to spending £150bn of newly created central bank money on corporate and government bonds. The news sent shockwaves through Britain’s capital markets.

Although most economists had expected the rate cut, which leaves borrowing costs at an effective zero of 0.5pc, the scale and speed of the plan to pump extra cash into the economy took traders by surprise. The Bank plans to spend £50bn of the money it creates on corporate debt and the remaining sum on government bonds.

The sheer scale of the operation is illustrated by the fact that the entire corporate bond and commercial paper market in the UK is worth only £57.5bn, while the amount of gilt-edged government debt eligible for the Bank’s auctions totals £250bn.


The Bank’s £200bn gamble (Independent):
“The Bank of England will this week announce its intention to flood the economy with ‘helicopter money’, its latest attempt to tackle the recession. Won’t quantitative easing cause inflation? Yes – and that is the general idea. Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor, has warned of “an onslaught of inflation” as a result of current policies.”

Destroying the value of your money through inflation is the general idea?(!!!)

Quantitative easing = Increasing the money supply (by creating money out of thin air) = Inflation

Inflation is a hidden tax:
“By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.
There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

– John Maynard Keynes

Quantitative easing = The Zimbabwe school of economics (Stealing)



The Bank initially intends to spend £75bn on the operation, with the remaining amount likely to be committed as and when the Monetary Policy Committee judges necessary.

Read moreRecord rise in gilts as Bank of England ‘starts printing presses’

The dangers of printing money: four lessons from history

The Bank of England voted today to begin quantitative easing –  printing money to you and me – in a last ditch attempt to save the UK from the twin threats of depression and deflation.

It is a decision that is fraught with risks.

The hope is that the money pumped into the economy will encourage banks to become more relaxed about lending to individuals and businesses.

Flush with extra cash we will all rush out to spend it, kickstarting the economy and dragging it out of recession. Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, will get a well deserved knighthood, and the rest of us will all breathe a sigh of relief and carry on as before, a little poorer, a little wiser, but generally OK.

But, none of the above is certain.

Banks might prefer to sit on the cash resulting in continued gridlock in the borrowing market. Impact: a big fat zero.

If too much money is pumped into the economy inflation or even hyper-inflation becomes a real threat. Impact: an unwelcome return to the 1970s.

Read moreThe dangers of printing money: four lessons from history