Europe fetches the monetary helicopters, at long last

“Rejoice?” “Printing money to fend off disaster?”

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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) = Printing money = Inflation

Inflation is a tax and even Bernanke admitted that. The central banksters and the governments are looting the taxpayer. Rejoice, you have just been robbed!

I know I am repeating myself here, but there are so many new readers that need to know this:
“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

“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

But now enjoy Mr. Deflation (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard).


Rejoice. After much pious posturing – and criminal wastage of time – the European Central Bank at last seems ready join the Anglo-Saxons, Japanese, Swiss, and Isrealis in printing money to fend off disaster.

Two key governors tipped us off today that the bank is ready to buy assets outright on the open market, including mortgage debt. This is a huge development, exactly what is required to help restore the animal spirits of global investors.

Until now the ECB has offered unlimited liquidity in exchange for collateral from banks. That is not the same thing at all. It is sterilized stimulus. The bank has adamantly refused to cross the Rubicon by scattering money through the economy in real blast of QE. (quantitative easing)

ECB is clearly alarmed by the outright contraction of credit. Loans to non-financial corporations fell in February (minus €4bn).

Yes, the M3 money supply is still up 5.9pc year-on-year, but that is backward-looking. M3 growth has collapsed. The credit crunch that was not supposed to exist in the eurozone is already well advanced.

The bank’s vice-president Lucas Papademos (ex-MIT, a heavy-weight) said: “It may be warranted that the central bank purchases private sector bonds to enhance liquidity. No decision has been taken, but it is a possibility that could improve the markets”.

“Potential measures could include an extension of the maturity of the central bank liquidity provided to banks and purchases of private debt securities in the secondary market”.

Hallelujah.

Nout Wellink, governor of the Dutch central bank, in turn said there is now “an increasing risk of deflation”.

Thank you Mr Wellink.

ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet has been insisting for month after month that there is no risk whatsover of deflation. At least a million workers are going to lose their jobs over coming months unneccesarily because of this blind refusal to face the reality of what is happening in the world.

(Or perhaps that is unfair to Mr Trichet’s boss – Bundesbank chief Axel Weber. One suspects that Mr Weber does indeed understand what is happening but knows that once the ECB starts buying bonds, it is on the slippery slope to an EU debt union – at German expense. The pressure to bail out Club Med governments may become unstoppable. He is right about that.)

Mr Wellink went on to admit that the ECB had screwed up royally by raising rates last July in response to a phoney inflation scare (oil futures speculation) at a time when much of the eurozone was already in recession.

“In hindsight, this measure was based on a faulty estimate of inflationary risks and real growth prospects.”

Bravo, Mr Wellink. This is the first time – to my knowledge – that any ECB governor has admitted any fault in what must be described as the most remarkable act of monetary primitivism in modern times, or indeed admitted any error on anything. One was beginning to think they were incapable of self-criticism.

Thank goodness for Dutch honesty. The ECB will be much stronger for it. Chippy central banks do not command respect.

It has taken a long time to get here: a lot of damage has been done. A German contraction of 6pc to 7pc (Commerzbank forecast) is already baked into the pie this year. German unemployment may reach 5m in 2010 (RWI Institute).

Ireland’s GDP has already dropped 7.5pc (year-on-year to Q4). Eurozone Industrial output fell 17.3pc in January (y/y). It was down 31pc in Spain. This is a greater fall than anything suffered in Spain over a 12-month period during the 1930s.

Sadly I have little confidence that the ECB will undertake QE with adequate dispatch, but at least they seem willing to swallow their pride and start to do their part to mitigate the global depression that we are already in.

If they move fast enough they may even prevent the eurozone breaking. Big if.

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
Last Updated: 1:25PM GMT 27 Mar 2009

Source: The Telegraph

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