“We do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system.” — Ben Bernanke, 2007
“The Federal Reserve will not monetize the debt.” — Ben Bernanke, 2009
And from a gem back in Aug.
Before diving into today’s penultimate installment of The Daily Reckoning Best Of 2012 Series, we’d like to wish the Federal Reserve a very unhappy birthday. This year will mark the 100th anniversary of that rotten institution, a hideout for scoundrels and highwaymen of the academic class and for perpetrators of untold crimes against monetary sanity.
Over the past century, the Federal Reserve has eviscerated roughly 97% of the greenback’s value. No small feat...especially for an entity supposedly created to protect the integrity of that very same currency. Perhaps you’ve seen graphs like the following one, depicting the once-mighty dollar’s dismal descent:
We’re fairly certain the Fed Heads will provide us with ample opportunities to wince and gripe over the coming year...and beyond. But in the meantime, let’s cast a look back over the past twelve months with a couple of columns dedicated to the greatest counterfeiters in the land.
“Everyone is waiting,” writes Bill Bonner. “They want to know what will happen when the Fed gets together tomorrow. Will there be an open-ended commitment to QE — as much as you want, when you want it — or will there be nothing at all?”
The Powers that Be are hunkered down in Jackson Hole for their annual international central banking symposium, a jaw-gabbing event where the world’s “brightest” economists get together to come up with the world’s dumbest “solutions”...solutions to problems largely caused by their last round of “solutions.”
The Feds use a number of complicated instruments to determine which way the economic breeze is blowing, almost all of them baloney. Then they imagine that, after holding their windsocks out in the hurricane, they can command the gales to blow in any direction they so desire. And what’s more, people actually believe them!
Growth rates, ostensibly their primary focus, are slowing in the US, down from a limpish 2% rate for the first quarter to a decidedly flaccid 1.7% in the second. And that, after unprecedented amounts of economic “stimulus.” A more modest man might feel a twinge of embarrassment, perhaps even the onset of “performance anxiety.” But Bernanke is not that man. He has pledged, in the face of demonstrable impotence, to do “whatever it takes” to get the economy...“up.”
Alas, the employment situation, another Fed Fetish, has softened too, with official unemployment still above 8%. Factor in discouraged non-workers and those forced to take part-time jobs and we’re looking at closer to 15%. John Williams at ShadowStats, who computes the figures the “old way,” pre-Clintonian fiddling, puts the rate at almost 23%...nearly 1 in 4.
But unemployment today is nothing compared to what it might be tomorrow. According to the August report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “From April to July 2012, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old rose 2.1 million to 19.5 million.”
The BLS was quick to couch its statement, however, explaining that:
“The youth labor force (16- to 24-year-olds working or actively looking for work) grows sharply between April and July each year. During these months, large numbers of high school and college students search for or take summer jobs, and many graduates enter the labor market to look for or begin permanent employment.”
Even so, the number of unemployed youth increased by 90,000 from the same period in 2011. The generation unlucky enough to find itself graduating today is far worse off than its predecessors. Confirmed the BLS, “The labor force participation rate for all youth — the proportion of the population 16 to 24 years old working or looking for work — was 60.5 percent in July [...] 17.0 percentage points below the peak rate for that month in 1989 (77.5 percent).”
Politicians to Youth: You’re Screwed!
More at link as to the plight of new graduates and youth if interested--not pretty http://dailyreckoning.com/the-hurricane-whisperer/