April Inflation Statistics

On Tuesday, CNN reported that according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday inflation in April was the highest it has been all year.

The article reports:

Wholesale inflation picked up in April to its highest rate in a year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.

The Producer Price Index, which measures the change in prices that manufacturers pay to suppliers, was 2.2% for the 12 months ended in April, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Tuesday.

That gain is higher than what was seen in March, which was downwardly revised from 2.1% to 1.8%.

On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.5%, a faster pace than March’s 0.1% loss (also downwardly revised) and ran much hotter than what economists had anticipated. Economists were expecting a monthly gain of 0.3%, according to FactSet consensus estimates.

“The concern here is that we now have a trend, an upward trend in producer prices, which can only be passed through to consumers and result in upward pressure on consumer price inflation over the coming months,” Kurt Rankin, senior economist for the PNC Financial Services Group, told CNN in an interview.

And that means interest rates will stay higher for longer and could further delay the Federal Reserve’s plans for cuts on that front, he said.

…While higher energy costs (up 2% in April) helped to push goods prices higher, services inflation is what drove up the overall PPI last month. Nearly three-quarters of the April monthly gain was attributable to price hikes seen by producers of services, according to the report.

Services providers saw a 0.6% increase in prices for the month, the fastest pace seen for that category since March 2022, Rankin noted.

“Services has been the issue over the past year as consumers continue to spend money, and costs for services-oriented businesses is still stronger than goods inflation; but goods producer prices are now also rising after having fallen through most of 2023,” he said.

This is bad news for consumers and also bad news for the Biden administration that wants to get re-elected in November. The promise of cutting the interest rate before the election to bring consumer costs down will not be kept if inflation continues on its current path.

Bidenomics At Work

Aside from what you are paying for groceries and gasoline, have you looked at mortgage rates and home sales right now?

On Monday, One America News reported the following:

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell more than expected in October, likely as higher mortgage rates reduced affordability, but the housing segment remains supported by a persistent shortage of previously owned properties on the market.

New home sales dropped 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 679,000 units last month, the Commerce Department said on Monday. September’s sales pace was revised lower to 719,000 units from the previously reported 759,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for a small share of U.S. home sales, would fall to a rate of 723,000 units.

New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading indicator of the housing market. They, however, can be volatile on a month-to-month basis. Sales increased 17.7% on a year-on-year basis in October.

The stock of previously owned houses on the market is nearly 50% below it’s pre-pandemic level, according to the National Association of Realtors, which last week reported that home resales plunged to more than a 13-year low in October. Most homeowners have mortgage rates under 3%, making many reluctant to sell, boosting demand for new construction.

According to The Mortgage Reports, the mortgage interest rate in 2021 was 2.96 percent. In 2022, it was 5.34 percent. The current mortgage rate, according to Nerd Wallet is about 7.5 percent. That is a significant increase. Interest rates were artificially kept low for a number of years. That was not sustainable. However, the rate of increase (the Federal Reserve’s attempt to curb inflation) has hurt real estate sales. At one point many years ago because of a job change, we were forced to take out a mortgage at 8.5 percent (giving up a mortgage of 4 percent). If you are sitting on a 3 or 4 percent mortgage right now, the last thing you want to do is move and take out a 7.5 percent mortgage. Bidenomics has hurt Americans across the board. We need a new President with a new approach to the economy.

It’s Past Time For This!

On Tuesday, The Epoch Times posted the following headline:

The Time to Audit the Fed Is Here

A site called worldtraining.net explains some of the history of the Federal Reserve:

On June 4, 1963, a little known attempt was made to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the government at interest. On that day President John F. Kennedy signed Executive Order No. 11110 that returned to the U.S. government the power to issue currency, without going through the Federal Reserve. Mr. Kennedy’s order gave the Treasury the power “to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury.” This meant that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury’s vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation. In all, Kennedy brought nearly $4.3 billion in U.S. notes into circulation. The ramifications of this bill are enormous.

        With the stroke of a pen, Mr. Kennedy was on his way to putting the Federal Reserve Bank of New York out of business. If enough of these silver certificates were to come into circulation they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve notes. This is because the silver certificates are backed by silver and the Federal Reserve notes are not backed by anything. Executive Order 11110 could have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level, because it would have given the government the ability to repay its debt without going to the Federal Reserve and being charged interest in order to create the new money. Executive Order 11110 gave the U.S. the ability to create its own money backed by silver.

        After Mr. Kennedy was assassinated just five months later, no more silver certificates were issued. The Final Call has learned that the Executive Order was never repealed by any U.S. President through an Executive Order and is still valid. Why then has no president utilized it? Virtually all of the nearly $6 trillion in debt has been created since 1963, and if a U.S. president had utilized Executive Order 11110 the debt would be nowhere near the current level. 

The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air and then loans it to the government at interest. It’s a great scheme.

The Epoch Times reports:

This week, Sen. Rand Paul is pushing an amendment to a major spending bill that would finally do what should have been done decades ago. It should have been an annual undertaking for the past 100 years. He wants a thorough and external audit of the Fed, using prevailing accounting standards to figure out where the billions and trillions are coming from and where they’re going.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This needs to be done.

Moving To Protect Americans’ Money

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner reported:

House Republicans have advanced a bill that would stop the Federal Reserve from issuing digital currency, sending the legislation to the House for a vote.

The House Financial Services Committee voted Wednesday to advance the legislation, which was sponsored by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN). The bill is dubbed the Central Bank Digital Currency Anti-Surveillance State Act. It won support from Republicans and drew opposition from some Democrats on the committee.

If you want the government to have full control over how much money you have and how you spend it, Central Bank Digital Currency is for you. It is one of the worst ideas to come along in a long time.

The article notes:

“The CBDC Anti-Surveillance State Act underscores that fact and protects Americans’ privacy and our financial system from the risks a CBDC would pose,” said committee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC). “It builds on the principles that Republicans developed last Congress to guide our evaluation of a potential CBDC.

“The bill, led by Whip Emmer, emphasizes those principles and ensures that the Federal Reserve cannot issue a CBDC without congressional approval,” he added.

Democrats, though, blasted the legislation as being antithetical to innovation and competition.

“Unfortunately, this bill, which I will call the CBDC anti-innovation act … would commonly shut down important work the Fed is doing to research a potential U.S. CBDC,” said the committee’s Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA). “Instead of taking steps to ensure the United States wins the digital currency space race against emerging powers like China, Republicans are making baseless attacks against the CBDC that does not even exist.”

Remember, the Democrats are the people who want to control the car you drive and the stove you cook on. They are the last people I want to control my income and my spending.

Dangers of Digital Currency

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

Given the harsh reality that today’s Democrat Party follows Marxist principles which will destroy this country as we have known it, the best starting point is to oppose any new initiative coming from the Biden regime. Their newest, and arguably, the most destructive of their many destructive policies is that of a digital currency. They are currently “testing the waters” so to speak and we must not allow them to implement this
idea. There are many reasons to oppose a digital dollar; here are a few of them.

According to the Biden regime, a digital form of currency (Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC) would be issued and controlled by the Federal Reserve and replace paper money in most if not all transactions. To a great number of people, myself included, who rely very heavily on their credit cards for most financial transactions this may seem to be a logical step. But it is much more. First, a digital currency would be totally
controlled by the Federal Reserve which is an agency frought with many problems since its inception in 1913, but most importantly the people do not control or select its members. We cannot vote them out of office if we so desired, consequently we lose control over our money system. Very bad idea. Second, digital currency
is not backed by any tangible asset that has inherent value such as gold, silver, oil, etc. Third, and this is critical, the government would not only be able to track all your expenditures but would be able to stop or limit you from purchasing items they do not think you should have. Like gasoline powered cars, meat, gas stoves, guns, ammunition to name just a few.. Why in the name of all that is holy, would any sane person want to give the government total control over your finances? Without the ability to spend what you want on whatever you want, you have lost your freedom. Period. No wonder Marxist governments like China are moving towards digital currency. Fourth, the money you have accumulated can be lost if the system is either hacked or is compromised by an attack on the electrical grid. We all know how totally preventing this type of hacking is already not possible. Fifth, say you wanted to go to a local bank (most of which will be eliminated) and withdraw some cash. Sorry, you will no longer be able to do so.

You must stay abreast of what is going on with digital currency and let your elected officials know that you are opposed and want it stopped. Like all destructive Marxist social programs (e.g. Medicaid) the Democrats will try to sell this idea with phony advantages. Do not be fooled. This is one of the most, if not the most destructive Marxist ideas and the Republican controlled U.S. House of Representatives must block
digital currency, if our country is to survive

 

The American Economy Under The Biden Administration

On Wednesday, The Washington Free Beacon reported the following:

U.S. business activity contracted for a fifth straight month in November, with a measure of new orders dropping to its lowest level in 2-1/2 years as higher interest rates slowed demand.

S&P Global said on Wednesday its flash U.S. Composite PMI Output Index, which tracks the manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 46.3 this month from a final reading of 48.2 in October. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the private sector. Activity is slumping under the weight of the Federal Reserve’s most aggressive interest rate-hiking cycle since the 1980s aimed at curbing inflation by dampening economic demand.

The flash composite new orders index dropped to 46.4, the lowest level since May 2020, from a final reading of 49.2 in October. Outside the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the worst reading since 2009.

The article concludes:

Average input prices increased at the softest rate in two years, but factories still faced challenges finding skilled labor. This suggests the slowdown in inflation will be gradual as wages remain sticky.

The survey’s flash services sector PMI decreased to 46.1 from 47.8 in October. Services businesses also reported weak demand and a moderation in input prices.

I am not an economist, and I do not totally understand what these numbers mean. Generally speaking, inflation is a problem and the rising interest rates that are supposed to combat it are a problem. It is my understanding that the solution to the inflation problem could be found in bringing back domestic energy production and limiting government spending. The new House of Representatives that will be sworn in in January does have the power to cut government spending; however, it is doubtful that they have the power to overrule the Biden administration’s restrictions on domestic energy production. All of us need to be concerned for the people in the colder regions of America this winter. Heating costs will be very high, and many people are going to suffer because of brownouts and energy costs. All of this is the result of the Biden administration’s energy policies. The war in Ukraine is a contributing factor, but not the main cause. Energy prices began to rise in January 2021 and have continued to rise since (with a few pauses). Energy is an international commodity and is subject to supply and demand. The way to bring energy costs down in America is to get back to producing our own energy. That is also the way to curb inflation.

I Really Love This Idea

On Thursday, The New York Sun posted an editorial by Larry Kudlow about the Federal Reserve.

The editorial states:

Can we please get a Federal Reserve with a backbone? Here are a couple thoughts on today’s wussy Fed announcement that it is going to move faster on tapering bond purchases and there might be three little bitty rate hikes next year. And, oh yeah, Jay Powell told the press conference he was confident inflation would drop to two percent by the end of next year.

Wanna bet? On that bet, I’m taking the under. Know who the best inflation forecaster in the country is? Senator Manchin. Numero uno. I don’t even know if he talks to economists, but since last winter when the $2 trillion Democrat so-called relief package was implemented, Joe Manchin has been warning about inflation.

That’s why he has argued consistently all year that President Biden’s big government socialist bill should be paused until inflation is clearly falling. Which it is not. CPI up 7 percent, PPI up 10 percent, and today we got another whopper, with an 11.7 percent rise in import prices. How about that?

Joe Manchin, by the way, in his original memo to Senator Schumer, called last summer for the end of quantitative easing.

Mr. Manchin makes me feel proud to be a former Democrat, as were both of my presidential bosses — Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

The editorial continues:

Finally, I have another idea for a new Fed chairman if Joe Manchin won’t take the job. How about Elon Musk? Time Magazine’s man of the year. How can I say such an outrageous thing? Several reasons. I worked with him several times in the White house and he’s very smart and savvy.

The mere fact that socialist Senator Warren is attacking him for not paying his “fair share” of taxes is by itself a fabulous endorsement of Mr. Musk’s philosophy, business prowess.

Am I saying anybody Mrs. Warren opposes gets my stamp of approval? Yes. I’m tired of her left-wing progressive woke whining. And her desires to tax and regulate anything that moves in business and the economy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Musk, who’s the biggest E-V car seller in the country, has said publicly he does not want E-V auto or battery subsidies from the federal government. Indeed, he has come out against the entire reckless tax, spend, and regulate Biden policies.

Unlike GM and the unionist car-makers, Mr. Musk is non-union and will not put his nose into the public trough.

My kind of guy. I doubt if he ever talks to economists. That’s probably why he’s such a good conservative, libertarian thinker.

And incidentally, Mr. Musk has been selling about $3 billion worth of stock at the prevailing capitalist gains tax rate of 23.8%. The Musk stock sale would generate $714 million of revenues to the federal government.

Mr. Kudlow also notes that the Federal Reserve is continuing Quantitative Easing, the practice of buying up the debt and pumping up the money supply, at a time when inflation is rapidly increasing. We need someone at the Federal Reserve that will put the brakes on that practice so that we can being to rein in inflation.

Has Anyone Listened To What This Lady Is Saying?

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about Saule Omarova, President Joe Biden’s nominee for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

The article reports on some of her statements regarding her plans for America:

Omarova spoke at the Law and Political Economy (LPE) Project’s “Law & Political Economy: Democracy Beyond Neoliberalism” conference in March.

Omarova discussed one of her papers, “The People’s Ledger How to Democratize Money and Finance the Economy,” which would help “redesign” the financial system and make the economy “more equitable for everyone.”

She said it would change the “private-public power balance” and democratize finance to a more systemic level.

During her explanation of her paper, she said that the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central bank, can only use “indirect levers” to “induce private banks to increase their lending.”

Her paper calls for eliminating all banks and transferring all bank deposits to “FedAccounts” at the Federal Reserve.

During her conference speech, she said, “There will be no more private bank accounts, and all of the deposit accounts will be held directly at the Fed”:

Please follow the link to the article to see the video.

The article reports:

Omarova said her proposal would give the Fed more “proactive” monetary policy tools, such as “helicopter money.” She also pondered how the Federal Reserve could “take money” from Americans during an inflationary environment.

A former senior government official told Breitbart News that if the Senate were to confirm Omarova, she would have the “most powerful, least accountable” position over America’s banking system.

When talking about FedAccounts, the former senior government official said, “The Democratic Party over the last couple of administrations, they want the government to essentially take over a lot of financial functions from banks.”

We need to keep this lady as far away from our currency as possible.

Incredible Coincidence?

Yesterday The New York Post reported the following:

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sold between $1 million and $5 million in stocks at the beginning of October 2020 — a month that turned out to be the worst for Wall Street since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transaction, which is noted on a public disclosure form Powell signed off on in May and was first reported Monday by The American Prospect, is an uncomfortable echo of activities that led to the recent resignations of two regional leaders of America’s central bank.

The disclosure form indicates that Powell sold the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund shares on Oct. 1, 2020. Ten days earlier, a separate sale of shares from the same fund netted the Fed chair between $50,000 and $100,000.

As Powell played the market, he was calling on Congress to pass a second COVID-19 relief bill even as negotiations between lawmakers and the Trump administration were in a stalemate. The American Prospect, citing Powell’s public schedule, reported that he had spoken with then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin four times on Oct. 1, as well as with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

The article concludes:

Separately, Bloomberg News reported on Oct. 1 of this year that Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida had moved between $1 million and $5 million out of one mutual fund and into two other funds on Feb. 27, 2020, the day before Powell signaled a potential interest rate cut due to the pandemic.

The disclosures have drawn the ire of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who wrote to the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this month to ask for an investigation into whether Rosengren, Kaplan or Clerida had violated insider trading rules. In a Senate floor speech Oct. 5, Warren called out Powell and said he had “failed as a leader.”

However, other lawmakers have lined up behind Powell as President Biden nears a decision about whether to nominate him for a second four-year term that would begin in February. Fox Business Network reported Monday that at least eight Republican senators have said they would vote to confirm Powell for a second term.

The Federal Reserve did not respond to requests for comment about Powell’s transactions.

Mr. Powell’s biography notes that he is a lawyer who has worked in the investment banking field. I suppose this would give him the knowledge to make the kind of stock trade he made at the time he made it. However, I do think we need to take a really good look at the financial transactions of those in government. It seems as if there are a lot of people in government who seem to have an uncanny knack for buying and selling stock and stock options at exactly the right time.

Is The Misery Index Back?

In the 1970’s Chicago Economist Robert Barro coined the phrase ‘misery index.’ The phrase was used to describe a number obtained by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. During the Carter administration, that number ranged between 12 and 17 percent. During the Trump administration, that number ranged between 5 and 7 percent. I shudder to think where it is headed during the Biden administration.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the current rate of inflation.

The article reports:

Inflation continued to surge in July, but appeared to settle close to the fastest pace in almost 13 years as the economy continues to emerge from the pandemic, the feds said Wednesday.

The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods and services as well as energy and food costs, jumped 5.4 percent in July from a year earlier.

That’s the same as June’s 5.4 percent year-over-year rise in prices, which marked the biggest 12-month rise since August 2008, just before the financial crisis sent the US into the worst recession it had seen since the Great Depression.

Consumer prices rose 0.5 percent from the month prior, the Labor Department said.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected a 5.3 percent year-over-year spike in July and monthly increase of 0.5 percent.

The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 4.3 percent from a year ago, lower than the 4.5 percent year-over-year jump that the index saw in June, which marked the fastest acceleration since 1991.

The article concludes:

Federal Reserve officials have so far maintained their position that inflation is mostly temporary and will likely subside this year. They’ve cited this as a reason why they haven’t yet pulled back on their economic support measures like the bond-buying program.

Last week’s July jobs report showed that the country added a whopping 943,000 jobs in the month, more than expected, in a sign that the labor market recovery could finally be gaining steam.

Fed officials have said they will look for more confirmation of that in the next few jobs reports before a tapering of their financial support measures will be considered.

“I think this keeps taper talk on the table because inflation is staying relatively high and transitory may mean a little longer,” Minopoli said.

“If the supply chain kinks and businesses raising prices remains sustained, ‘transitory inflation’ might be a little less transitory than Fed Chair Powell will like and the hawks at the Fed may push a little harder on timing and speed of taper,” he added.

I remember the 1970’s–gas lines and all– and I don’t want to go back there.

The Trump Economy

Newsmax posted an article today about the state of the American economy.

The article reports:

Companies in the U.S. ramped up hiring at the start of the year, taking on the most workers since May 2015 and indicating the labor market remains robust, a report on private payrolls showed Wednesday.

Employment at businesses increased by 291,000 in January after a revised 199,000 gain in the previous month, according to data from the ADP Research Institute.

The article includes the following statistics:

  • The larger-than-expected gain was broad-based and included the biggest advance in service industry payrolls since February 2016, including a record surge in hiring at leisure and hospitality companies in data back to 2002.
  • The report is in line with last week’s statement from Federal Reserve policy makers following their meeting on interest rates. The Fed said that “job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months.”
  • Economists monitor the ADP data for clues about the government’s job report. The Labor Department’s employment data due Friday is expected to show a 150,000 gain in private payrolls and an unemployment rate remaining at a 50-year-low of 3.5%.
  • The government figures will also include annual revisions. In August, the Labor Department’s preliminary benchmark projections showed the number of workers added to payrolls will probably be revised down by 501,000 in the year through March 2019. ADP’s report follows a different methodology than the government’s, and the two do not directly correlate with each other.
  • ADP report showed goods-producing payrolls rose 54,000 in January, while service-provider employment increased 237,000.
  • Hiring in construction jumped 47,000, the most in a year, and manufacturing showed a 10,000 increase in January, which was the biggest gain in 11 months.
  • Payrolls at small businesses increased by 94,000 last month, the most since July 2018; rose 128,000 at medium-sized companies and 69,000 at large firms.
  • ADP’s payroll data represent about 411,000 firms employing nearly 24 million workers in the U.S.

President Trump was mocked during the election campaign for saying he could bring back manufacturing jobs and turn the economy around. His trade agreements have done what other politicians considered impossible. I should note that people who think something is impossible don’t attempt to accomplish it. Maybe we need to elect people who are willing to attempt the impossible rather than those who simply make empty promises.

Good Economic News For Americans

According to Investopedia:

A FICO score is a type of credit score created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Lenders use borrowers’ FICO scores along with other details on borrowers’ credit reports to assess credit risk and determine whether to extend credit. FICO scores take into account various factors in five areas to determine creditworthiness: payment history, current level of indebtedness, types of credit used, length of credit history, and new credit accounts.

Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about how the Trump economic policies have impacted the FICO scores of Americans.

The article reports:

Americans’ average FICO score has hit an all-time high of 706 on the personal credit rating scale. Ethan Dornhelm, the vice president for scores and analytics at FICO, told CBS News that a score of more than 700 basically qualifies individuals for just about any credit at favorable terms.

FICO scores range from 300 to 850. A score above 700 is considered great, and a score above 760 is considered excellent. This high national credit score may be largely attributed to the strong economy, with its historically low unemployment rate, and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“This record-long stretch of economic growth has helped minimize reliance on debt to pay the bills,” said Joel Griffith, a research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “Low interest rates help ensure a greater portion of loan payment goes to paying down principal rather than merely making interest payments.”

Creditworthiness is now increasing, which means Americans have the ability to rely on their paychecks, not just borrowing from their futures, to fulfill their financial obligations.

Americans’ average FICO score hit a low during the financial downturn of 2008, with a score of 686. After the recession passed, the nation’s average FICO score continuously grew.

Is giving Americans more access to larger lines of credit such a good thing? According to Griffith and Federal Reserve Bank data, U.S. household debt is also declining. Even now that Americans are able to take on more debt, they are not. They’re paying off their credit cards and increasingly lowering their other debt.

Unfortunately, this national accomplishment has not been a topic discussed among 2020 Democratic nominees. Why have the Democratic presidential candidates shied away from talking about the economy? Because, they call for an economy that “works for everyone,” when the current system is working for more people than ever before.

A Gallup poll shows that 88 percent of Americans believe the current U.S. economy is either “fair,” “good,” or “excellent.” That’s because this economy has provided 5.1 million new jobs and dropped the unemployment rate to 3.7 percent — the lowest rate in nearly half a century.

Leadership and economic policies make a difference to ALL Americans. The tax cuts and economic policies of President Trump have ‘worked for everyone.’ The government cannot create an economy the ‘works for everyone’ by taking money from people who earn it and giving it to people who did not earn it. An economy  that ‘works for everyone’ is created when everyone has the opportunity to find a job or start a company and create their own success.

It’s Better To Owe Money To A Friend Than To Owe Money To Someone Who Is Not Your Friend

America’s runaway spending is a problem. So far no one in Washington has either the power or the will to bring that spending to a screeching halt. But at least we are being a little wiser in our borrowing habits.

CNS News posted an article today with the following headline, “Japan Surpasses China as Top Foreign Holder of U.S. Debt.” It would be better if we had no debt, but at least the majority of our debt is held by a country that is not out to destroy us.

The article reports:

In May of this year, the Chinese owned $1,110,200,000,000 in U.S Treasury securities and the Japanese owned $1,101,000,000,000. In June, however, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities rose only to $1,112,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership climbed to $1,122,900,000,000.

That marked the first time since May 2017 that entities in Japan have owned more U.S. Treasury securities, as estimated by the U.S. Treasury, than entities in China.

In May 2017, the Japanese owned $1,111,500,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities and the Chinese owned $1,102,200,000,000. In June 2017, Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities increased to $1,146,500,000,000 and Japanese ownership declined to $1,090,300,000.000.

Chinese ownership of U.S. Treasury securities, according to the estimates, peaked in November 2013 at $1,316,700,000,000.

…The Federal Reserve owns more U.S. Treasury securities than either Japan or China. As of June 27, according to the Federal Reserve’s balance statement, the Federal Reserve owned $2,110,256,000,000 in Treasury securities.

U.S. Treasury securities held by entities in Hong Kong are counted separately from those in Mainland China. According to the Treasury’s estimate, entities in Hong Kong owned $215,600,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Entities in the United Kingdom were the third largest foreign holders of U.S. Treasury securities after Japan and China. In June, entities in the U.K. owned $341,100,000,000 in U.S. Treasury securities.

The article concludes:

In explaining its methodology for estimating foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities, the Treasury explained that some countries have higher numbers because owners of Treasury securities from third countries “entrust the safekeeping of their securities” to institutions in these countries.

“Imperfections caused by ‘custodial bias’remain in the current MFH [Major Foreign Holders of U.S. Treasury Securities] table,” said the methodology statement. “Some foreign owners entrust the safekeeping of their securities to institutions that are neither in the United States nor in the owner’s country of residence. For example, a German investor may buy a U.S. security and place it in the custody of a Swiss bank. In both the SLT and the periodic surveys of holdings of long-term securities, such a holding will typically be recorded vis-a-vis Switzerland rather than Germany. This ‘custodial bias’ contributes to the large recorded holdings in major custodial centers including Belgium, the Caribbean banking centers, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.”

It truly is time to cut our spending. We owe too many people too much money.

Trying To Level The Playing Field Has Its Challenges

Fox Business posted an article today about the devaluing of the Chinese yuan. The devaluing of the Chinese currency (currency manipulation) has been used by China for decades to grow their economy at the expense of America. It has been used to lure manufacturing away from America, impact our trade balance, and generally work against the American economy. We have needed to combat this practice for decades, but no President had the courage.

The article reports:

The onshore Chinese yuan weakened to worse than seven per U.S. dollar, hitting its lowest level since 2008, as Beijing looks to cushion the blow from Trump’s tariffs. A weaker yuan makes Chinese goods cheaper for overseas buyers, which may be necessary as China just lost its spot as the US’s biggest trading partner.

Trade data released Friday by the Department of Commerce showed U.S. imports from China fell by 12% in the first six months of the year, allowing Mexico to supplant it as the U.S.’s biggest trade partner.

“China dropped the price of their currency to an almost a historic low,” Trump tweeted Opens a New Window. on Monday. “It’s called “currency manipulation.” Are you listening Federal Reserve? This is a major violation which will greatly weaken China over time!”

Last week, Trump said beginning Sept. 1 the U.S. would place a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese goods. He went ahead with the announcement despite objections from his advisers.

The president warned he could “always do much more” with respect to tariffs, adding the 10 percent tax could go “well beyond 25 percent” if necessary. Earlier this year, the administration placed a 25% tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Weakening the yuan isn’t the only form of retaliation Beijing took on Monday. It also ordered state-owned enterprises to stop purchases of U.S. agricultural products, according to a Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the situation.

That is a reversal from just last week, when Beijing said it had purchased several tons of U.S. soybeans Opens a New Window. as a gesture of a goodwill amid trade negotitations. Before the trade war began, China was the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, accounting for 70% of all purchases, but their imports have fallen by 97% since the trade war began.

The article notes:

Over the weekened, The Trump administration pushed back against the idea the trade war was hitting the wallets of U.S. consumers.

“China has strategically gamed the tariffs by slashing their prices and by devaluing their currency,” White House trade advisor Peter Navarro told “Fox News Sunday.”

This trade dust-up with China may get ugly, but it is something that has to be done.

The Economy Continues To Move In A Positive Direction

Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air today about the latest economic numbers. As usual when a Republican is President, the ‘experts’ were surprised that the numbers were better than expected.

The article reports:

It’s not great news for the White House, but it could have been a lot worse. The US economy’s growth slowed to 2.1% in the second quarter, down a full point from Q1. However, with economists predicting a recession right around the corner, the growth is still substantial enough to look positive:

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.

The Bureau’s second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the Advance Estimate” on page 2). The “second” estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete data, will be released on August 29, 2019.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment and residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2).

The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter reflected downturns in inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. These downturns were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and federal government spending.

President Trump weighed in on Twitter:

The article at Hot Air concludes:

“Not bad” is a little bit of an understatement, actually. It’s pretty good, especially in the context of the global economy. That’s the bigger anchor, especially the trade disputes that at least for one quarter hit our exports hard.

The steady growth with low inflation should result in the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates in the near future.

How Do You Run Against This Record?

Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner about the 2020 Presidential election. The title of the article is, “Byron York: Dem 2020 task: Convince voters to overlook economy.” He is right assuming that the economy continues to do as well as it has. We need to remember that the Federal Reserve is in a position to undercut our prosperity. A few key interest rate raises would definitely slow down our growth. The fed is already making noises that it might not cut rates this year as previously expected. That might also have a negative impact on our growing economy. I am not convinced that the problem the Democrats have is to convince voters to overlook the economy as much as all Americans need to make sure that political forces do not move to wreck a good economy for political gain.

The article concludes:

“Trump’s tenure is straining one of the most enduring rules in presidential politics: the conviction that a strong economy benefits the party holding the White House,” wrote analyst Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic. “Across many of the key groups in the electorate, from young people to white college graduates, Trump’s job-approval rating consistently runs at least 25 points below the share of voters who hold positive views about either the national economy or their personal financial situation.”

Of course Democrats can’t ignore the economy. So far, when they have addressed it, they haven’t been terribly creative, relying on the standard-issue Democratic critique of Republican presidents — that Trump is creating an economy that only benefits his rich friends.

“Who is this economy really working for?” asked Elizabeth Warren at the first Democratic debate. “It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top.”

It’s not clear how well that will work. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board pointed out recently, under Trump, “wages are rising at the fastest rate in a decade for lower-skilled workers, and unemployment among less-educated Americans and minorities is near a record low.” The result of the president’s policies, the Journal argued, “has been faster growth and less inequality.”

Another way to say that is that millions of Americans are better off than they were four years ago. The question in 2020 will be whether that matters.

Actually, if the  Democrat debates continue at their present level of relevance, President Trump may easily cruise into another term as President.

A Positive Economic Picture

CNS News is reporting today that the economy is doing better than predicted.

The article reports:

A record 157,005,000 people were employed in June, the most since February and the 19th record of Trump’s presidency, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

And the economy added a strong 224,000 jobs in June, well above the estimate of 160,000.

The unemployment rate, the lowest in 50 years, ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.7 percent.

In June, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 259,037,000. Of those, 162,981,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,981,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 259,037,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. That’s up a tenth of a point from May’s 62.8 percent participation rate. The payroll taxes paid by people who participate in the labor force help support those who do not participate, so the higher this number, the better.

The participation rate reached a record high of 67.3 percent in early 2000; the highest it’s been under Trump is 63.2 percent.

In December 2016, the labor force participation rate was 62.7. It has moved between 62.7 and 63.1 since President Trump took office.

I love the fact that during a Republican administration, the estimates of jobs created is always low and economists are always surprised when the real numbers come out.

The article concludes:

And wages continue rising: In June, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 6 cents to $27.90, following a 9-cent gain in May. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in a June 25 speech, said the economy has performed “reasonably well” so far this year, with continued growth and strong job creation keeping the unemployment rate near historic lows.

But Powell also mentioned “some ongoing cross-currents,” including trade uncertainty and incoming data about the strength of the global economy.

He said the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion…” That could mean lower interest rates — or not, if the employment and job numbers remain strong.

Economic policies impact the economy. It matters who is occupying the White House. President Trump has proved that.

The Economy Is Humming Along

CNBC is reporting today that the economic news for April is very good.

The article reports:

The U.S. jobs machine kept humming along in April, adding a robust 263,000 new hires while the unemployment rate fell to 3.6%, the lowest in a generation, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Nonfarm payroll growth easily beat Wall Street expectations of 190,000 and a 3.8% jobless rate.

Average hourly earnings growth held at 3.2% over the past year, a notch below Dow Jones estimates of 3.3%. The monthly gain was 0.2%, below the expected 0.3% increase, bringing the average to $27.77. The average work week also dropped 0.1 hours to 34.4 hours.

Unemployment was last this low in December 1969 when it hit 3.5%. At a time when many economists see a tight labor market, big job growth continues as the economic expansion is just a few months away from being the longest in history.

The growth in the economy is the result of economic policies put in place by President Trump–tax cuts, revised trade deals, cuts to regulations, and generally making the economy more welcoming to companies who want to do business in America.

The article concludes:

GDP increased 3.2% during the first quarter, far exceeding expectations, while productivity during the quarter jumped 3.6% for its best gain in five years. Pending home sales rose 3.8% in March, providing some hope in the real estate market so long as rates are held in check.

Earlier this week, the Federal Reserve held the line on its benchmark interest rate, characterizing economic growth as solid even as inflation remains tame. The central bank watches metrics like the nonfarm payrolls report closely for clues both on job creation and wage pressures.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said current indications point to a prolonged period of holding pat on increases or decreases in rates. President Donald Trump has said he wants the Fed to cut rates by a full percentage point.

The economy plays a big role in deciding elections. None of the policies espoused by the current group of Democrat Presidential candidates for 2020 will continue this economic growth.

Sad News For The American Economy

One entity that controls the American economy is the Federal Reserve (which is not controlled by the government). It’s board members are nominated by the President and approved by Congress, but it is a private entity. Unfortunately it is part of the globalist cabal that seeks to undermine American sovereignty. President Trump has attempted to put two skilled businessmen on the Federal Reserve recently. The globalists in Congress have caused both men to withdraw their nominations. In the coming year, you can expect the Federal Reserve to subtly move to make the re-election of President Trump more difficult. I expect rate hikes leading up to the election to counter a healthy economy that is rapidly expanding. President Trump is not a globalist, and the globalists really want him gone. Globalists in Congress include both Democrats and Republicans (that is why it is so difficult to secure our borders).

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that Stephen Moore has withdrawn his nomination to the Federal Reserve Board.

The article reports:

Stephen Moore has a distinguished career in leadership roles at Heritage and The Wall Street Journal. Stephen Moore is a founder at the Club for Growth. Moore was an early Trump campaign supporter and wrote the book Trumponomics.

Moore is a presidential adviser and friend and is an architect of the greatest economic boom since Ronald Reagan.

In September Stephen Moore spoke at the Gateway Eagle Council in St. Louis, Missouri.

And in December Steve criticized Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for his irresponsible and dangerous rate hikes and threats of rate hikes. Powell was able to unilaterally stall the US economic boom in its tracks and cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars.

Moore wrote that it was time for Powell to resign. Moore was right.

The article includes excerpts from a World Net Daily article explaining why Jerome Powell should resign:

The Fed had already reduced the monetary thrust that it provides to the economy eight times since Dec. 15, 2015, by raising its federal funds interest rate from 0.25 percent to 2.25 percent. Each time, the Fed claimed that it needed to guard our economic airliner from inflationary “overheating” – as if its job is to prevent too many people from working and to make sure that paychecks aren’t rising too quickly.

Unfortunately, if you cut engine power too far on a jetliner, it will stall and drop out of the sky.

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, despite the numerous market-based alarms that were sounding in the cockpit, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his co-pilots on the Federal Open Market Committee – a committee within the Federal Reserve System charged under the United States law with overseeing the nation’s open market operations and which makes key decisions about interest rates and the growth of the U.S. money supply – voted to raise the funds rate to 2.50 percent. This sucks more dollars out of the economy at a time when the world is demanding more dollars – thanks to Trump’s tax-cutting and deregulation policies.

Powell has been entirely tone-deaf to the financial markets he seeks to protect. The Dow Jones Industrial average, which had risen by 382 points on hopes that the Fed would listen to Trump and stop cutting power, plunged by 895 points after the 2 p.m. announcement, and closed the day down 352 points (1.49 percent). Poof. Trillions of dollars of wealth vanished.

The article at The Gateway Pundit concludes:

The Democrats and Deep State apparatus does not want Stephen Moore on the board of the Federal Reserve. Stephen is the perfect pick for the job. Now the deep state is attacking Steve and his family.

Republican Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Lisa Murkowsky (R-AL) and anti-Trumper Mitt Romney (R-UT) expressed reservations this week. The Republican senators effectively killed Steve Moore’s nomination.

The Republicans voiced concerns over Moore’s nomination for comments he made nearly 20 years ago about women earning as much as men in fields like women’s sports.

On Thursday Steve Moore withdrew his nomination for the Federal Reserve Board.

It was a victory for anti-Trump globalists everywhere.

Stephen Moore’s withdrawal of his nomination is America’s loss.

Trying To Drive A Stake Through The Establishment

On March 22, President Trump nominated Stephen Moore to serve on the Board of the Federal Reserve. The establishment began their attack almost immediately. Why? Because Stephen Moore is a respected economist who will rock the boat of the establishment. He supports the economic policies of President Trump (which incidentally have been successful in reviving a struggling economy). The negative reports and personal attacks are all through the mainstream media–very little is being said about the accomplishments of Stephen Moore.

In December 2018, World Net Daily posted an article by Stephen Moore titled, “Fire the Fed.” Stephen Moore called on Chairman Powell to resign in wake of interest-rate hike.

In the article, Stephen Moore states:

In one of the most remarkable Abbott and Costello routines in modern times, the economic wizards at the Fed again raised interest rates on Tuesday. Their crackerjack logic for doing so is to steer America on a course toward recession so they have the tools in hand to end the recession they themselves created. Can anyone tell us who’s on first?

Worse, this Fed move doubles down on its blunderous interest rate rise in September. President Donald Trump turned out to be exactly right: The central bank pullback on money would slow growth and crush the stock market in order to combat nonexistent inflation.

…Since its peak on Oct. 3, which, not coincidentally, was right after Powell gave a speech suggesting that the Fed might be through tightening money, the Dow has fallen by more than 3,500 points. Market fears about his bad judgment have cut the value of all U.S. stocks by about $4.5 trillion, which is enough to buy 16,000 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The Fed economists use twisted logic that the economy is “strong enough” to absorb the rate hikes – which is simply an admission that their policy will slow growth.

Stephen Moore needs to be on the Board of the Federal Reserve. His presence might prevent the Federal Reserve from raising rates just before the 2020 election in order to cause a recession. Just as the Federal Reserve kept rates low during the Obama administration to give the appearance of a healthy economy, they may raise those rates in the coming year to give the impression that President Trump’s economic policies are not working. They need a watchdog.

Six Major Challenges In 2019

On December 28th, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial listing what their editors considered would be the top six issues of 2019. The title of the editorial is, “Will 2019 Be Happy? It Depends On How Washington Handles These 6 Challenges.” I suspect that is true.

The editorial lists the six items:

1. The Federal Reserve

2. Trade

3. Immigration

4. The Coming Budget Battle

5. Slaying The Regulatory Dragon

6. Fixing Health Care ‘Reform’

Here are some of the observations from the editorial on each item:

The Fed has raised its benchmark funds rate eight times over two years in pursuit of a “neutral” rate. Its most recent rate hike, coming about a week before Christmas, was followed by a steep decline in stocks and growing concerns that the economy might fall into recession next year if the central bank follows through on its plan to raise rates at least twice more.

It’s of more than academic interest that all 11 of the U.S. recessions since World War II were preceded by a sharp run up in Fed rates. Every one of them. It’s not a record of which to be proud.

…Despite bitter criticisms, President Trump successfully concluded a “new Nafta” deal with both Canada and Mexico covering $1.3 trillion in trade. The deal closes a number of holes in the old Nafta, increasing U.S. access to Canadian dairy markets, for instance, while also making cars tariff-free if 75% of their parts are made in the U.S., Canada or Mexico. All three countries signed off on the deal. The only question is, will it ever go into effect?

With Democrats controlling Congress and just six months for the trade deal to go into effect, some worry that major changes will be requested. President Trump has asked that either the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement be approved outright, or revert to the pre-Nafta trading rules. Congressional Democrats may even challenge Trump’s right to make a deal, putting the so-called USMCA in limbo. Stay tuned.

…With Americans eager to control immigration, as polls repeatedly show, Democrats may decide that negotiation rather than confrontation is a better tactic. That could mean a deal for a pathway to citizenship for the millennial illegal immigrant “dreamers,” many of whom have lived in the U.S. for most of their lives despite not having citizenship. With an estimated 22 million illegals in the U.S., many states are eager to gain some stability in our immigration policy.

…This year’s budget battle over funding the wall will likely pale in comparison to next year’s. The continued growth in entitlements, compounded by the sharp rise in interest payments, thanks to the Fed’s rate hikes, will balloon the deficit. The Congressional Budget Office’s last official projection pegged the deficit for 2019 at $981 billion. It will likely end up topping $1 trillion.

…But as we’ve pointed out many times, the problem isn’t tax cuts, it’s the unwillingness of anyone in Washington — including Trump — to deal with entitlement programs that have swamped the federal budget. Trump and the GOP will have to stand firm on taxes next year, while grappling with a rising tide of debt that will soon surpass $21 trillion.

…ObamaCare limped along for another year, with premiums for 2019 falling, overall, after years of massive double-digit increases. Trump took several steps to improve ObamaCare. The most important fix was to breathe life back into the short-term insurance market that President Obama tried to snuff out to protect the ObamaCare exchanges. Unfortunately, since Republicans blew their chance at repeal, the best we can hope for is that Trump will continue to tweak the law where he can. But he shouldn’t shy away from fighting for more free-market reforms. Should Democrats resist, or start pushing for socialized “Medicare for all,” it will create an opportunity for Trump to paint Democrats as big-government extremists.

The article concludes:

The coming year will be eventful, with many of Trump’s main initiatives set for action by Congress — a Congress, as we noted, that won’t be as friendly to Trump as the last one. Whether Trump and the Democrats can, as the bumper sticker says, coexist, or whether the Trump agenda founders on a never-ending stream of congressional investigations and hearings on the White House, remains to be seen. We guarantee it won’t be boring.

Get out the popcorn.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences

It’s hard to defend the actions of the Federal Reserve right now. The people who propped up the economy under President Obama seem determined to destroy the economy under President Trump. But we know that the Federal Reserve is apolitical. Sure we do. However, there may be some unintended consequences of the current Federal Reserve actions.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today which explains some of those consequences.

The article reports:

The Chinese were relentless in their efforts to obtain Western technology and grow their economy.  They set up trade barriers and manipulated their currency in ways that helped China. The US was at a disadvantage in trade resulting in massive deficits into the billions.

Along comes the Trump Administration, the first administration to address China’s unfair trade advantage.  President Trump is a shrewd negotiator and he obviously believes now is the time to encourage China to make changes to their trade barriers with the US.  China may have no choice but to go with what the US offers to keep its economy afloat.

The more pressing issues for China surround real estate, in a manner similar to the US in 2008.  As China grew, it invested in its infrastructure and in addition it invested in large housing projects throughout the country.  These efforts helped bolster China’s already fast growing economy.

The problem is that China over invested in these random properties all over China and these properties today remain empty.

…Now to add to China’s misery, the Fed is doing all it can to kill the US economy.  China is dependent on the US economy to stay afloat.

…The US debt now stands at $21.8 trillion. A 2.25% interest increase on this amount of debt is an annual increase in debt interest payments of $500 billion!!!

The Fed is doing all it can to destroy President Trump’s economy. What the Fed doesn’t realize is that a flat US economy means disaster to the Chinese.

China’s financial crash may make the 2008 crash in the US look small.  The implications will no doubt impact the entire world.  Jerome Powell at the Fed has no idea what he is doing!

Hang on to your hat, if the Federal Reserve continues on its current path, this may be a very bumpy ride.

Exactly What Is The Federal Reserve Trying To Accomplish?

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that included Economist Stephen Moore’s comments on the recent rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Mr. Moore does not pull his punches.

Mr. Moore states:

In one of the most remarkable Abbott and Costello routines in modern times, the economic wizards at the Fed again raised interest rates on Tuesday. Their cracker jack logic for doing so is to steer America on a course toward recession so they have the tools in hand to end the recession that THEY themselves created. Can anyone tell us who’s on first?

Worse, this Fed move doubles down on its blunderous interest rate rise in September. President Trump turned out to be exactly right: the central bank pull back on money would slow growth and crush the stock market in order to combat nonexistent inflation.

The Fed had already reduced the monetary thrust that it provides to the economy 8 times since December 15, 2015, by raising its Fed Funds interest rate from 0.25% to 2.25%. Each time, the Fed claimed that it needed to guard our economic airliner from inflationary “overheating” – as if its job is to prevent too many people from working and making sure that pay checks aren’t rising too quickly.

Unfortunately, if you cut engine power too far on a jetliner, it will stall and drop out of the sky.

On Wednesday, December 19, despite the numerous market-based alarms that were sounding in the cockpit, Chairman Powell and his co-pilots on the FOMC voted to raise the Fed Funds rate to 2.50%. This sucks more dollars out of the economy at a time when the world demanding more dollars – thanks to Trump’s Tax cutting and deregulation policies.

Chairman Powell has been entirely tone deaf to the financial markets he seeks to protect. The Dow Jones Industrial average, which had risen by 382 points on hopes that the Fed would listen to President Trump and stop cutting power, plunged by 895 points after the 2:00 PM announcement, and closed the day down 352 points (1.49%). Poof, trillions of dollars of wealth vanished.

Since its peak on October 3, which, not coincidentally, was right after Chairman Powell gave a speech suggesting that the Fed might be through tightening money, the Dow has fallen by more than 3,500 points [now 4,500]. Market fears about his bad judgment have cut the value of all U.S. stocks by about $4.5 trillion, which is enough to buy 16,000 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The Fed economists use twisted logic that the economy is “strong enough” to absorb the rate hikes – which is simply an admission that their policy will slow growth.

And for what purpose?   Since the last rate hike the economy has slipped into an anti-growth deflationary cycle with commodity prices – oil, copper, cotton, lead, steel, silver among others – falling by about 10 percent. The new Fed policy is sure to accelerate the deflation and farmers, ranchers, coal miners, oil and gas drillers will get further crunched by the dollar shortage.

Can someone at the Fed Temple please explain how falling commodity prices indicates inflation? Inflation is too many dollars chasing too few goods.

The commodities index is about the only read-out that a monetary pilot truly needs. And, right now, the CRB Index is blaring “Pull up!  Pull up!”

Mr. Powell warned of a slowing economy in 2019 – but he failed to acknowledge that the headwinds the economy is facing are the drag the Fed is itself creating. It was almost as if the Fed believes there is some weird Puritan-like virtue to slowing down the investment, employment and wage-growth spurt Trump policies have created.

What is to be done now? Trump wants to fire the Fed chairman though it is doubtful he has the authority to do that. Much better for Mr. Powell to do the honorable thing and admit that his policies have had disastrous economic and financial consequences and resign.

If not this, at least Mr. Powell should hold an emergency meeting of the Federal Reserve Board and immediately cancel the rate hikes. Better yet, the Fed should announce ways to inject money into the dollar-starved economy.

For much of the past two decades, America’s economic problems of slow growth and flat wages were due to the drag of fiscal and regulatory mistakes. Now at the very moment in time when we FINALLY have a president who is slashing tax rates and regulations and is making America a much more business-friendly nation, the Fed’s monetary policy has come unhinged.

Cockpit warnings have been sounding for months, not only from the markets, but from President Trump and many other growth economists – including ourselves. We are now suffering the financial ramifications of this “pilot error” on the part of Chairman Powell.

The article includes the following chart:

It’s time either to get rid of the Federal Reserve or put someone in charge without a political agenda. Crashing the economy is the only way the Democrats can take the presidency in 2020, and political insiders know that. The recent drastic rate increase are not done without purpose.

Raising Interest Rates Is Not The Right Move

Interest rates were kept artificially low during the Obama administration. This resulted in lower interest payments on the national debt, which increased from $7.27 trillion in 2009 when President Obama took office to $14 trillion at the end of fiscal 2016. The current national debt is $16 trillion. Increasing interest rates from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent increases the amount of money all taxpayers will have to pay as interest on that debt.

Breitbart reported today:

“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 2-1/4 to 2‑1/2 percent,” the Federal Reserve announced. The Fed indicated the possibility of just two rate hikes in 2019.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose leading up to the announcement.

Predictions looked toward a likely rate hike ahead of the announcement and possible signaling to a slowing of potential future rate hikes. USA Today reported ahead of the announcement, “Most Wall Street pros expect the Fed, as it has signaled, to hike its key rate another quarter point to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent. This would be the fourth increase this year and ninth since late 2015.”

The Federal Reserve is not a government agency. They are supposed to be apolitical, but their actions in recent years bring that into question. Lower interest rates during the Obama administration kept the stock market high, paid dividends to those on Wall Street and any well-connected politicians. It provided the appearance of an okay economy despite decreases in the Workforce Participation Rate and the rapidly shrinking middle class. Since President Trump took office, the middle class is growing, and the Workforce Participation Rate is slowly climbing. This rate increase will increase the amount of money needed to pay interest on the national debt and will be a drag on the economy. I don’t mean to be cynical, but I believe that is by design. The Federal Reserve is part of the political establishment that does not want to see the economic success of President Trump’s economic policies. President Trump is not a member of the political establishment, and it will be more difficult to get rid of him in 2020 if the economy is growing. The rate hikes announced today will put a damper on economic growth. The question will be how much of a damper.