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QE Shell Game

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Obama's $787 billion stimulus went mostly (in the form of tax breaks) to corporate favorites and rich elites already with too much. QE II followed QE I, then Operation Twist, and now QE III. 

The Fed provided generous back door funding for troubled European banks. Its balance sheet exploded. At over $2.8 trillion and rising, if it was a country it would be the world's fifth largest.

One failed program followed another. Economic duress deepens. Current US median income is lower than when the National Bureau of Economic Research declared recession over in June 2009. Perhaps for Wall Street, not Main Street. 

Record numbers of Americans need food stamps. More join their ranks monthly. Real unemployment approaches 23%. Average unemployment duration is near a record high. 

Jobs for millions wanting them aren't available. Most that are don't pay enough to get by. At the same time, vital benefits are eroding when they're most needed.

Instead of constructive policies that work, money printing madness that won't substitutes. Ellen Brown does some of the best financial analysis around. On September 21, she discussed why QE III won't stimulate growth and what will.

Boosting "aggregate demand" is needed. Getting it takes putting "money in the pockets of consumers - but QE3 won't do it." Better alternatives aren't chosen.

QE goes "straight into bank reserve accounts, and banks can't lend their reserves." They sit there helping no one needing it most. Bernanke's plan is buy mortgage backed securities (MBS) till the cows come home. 

Doing it won't help homeowners. Bank balance sheets won't change nor will circulating money amounts. QE takes "something on the asset side of" bank balance sheets (MBS or other toxic junk) "and replaces it with electronically-generated dollars."

They become excess reserves. They're not spent or extended in loans. They're mostly "lent to other banks that need reserves"."

In other words, money sitting in bank reserves can't stimulate growth. Since QE I, the monetary base rose, but circulating money supply increased no "faster than in the previous decade." At the same time, loans declined.

QE II was no different. Why expect QE III to turn around failure. At the same time, workable alternatives aren't chosen. What about QE  for small business, troubled states and municipalities, low-interest student loans, and help for troubled homeowners. 

Get it in the coffers and pockets where it's most needed and will do the most good. Imagine the difference these alternatives could make. Whenever they're adopted, or variations thereof, they work as intended. Why not now.

Money into the economy in any amount for growth and job creation has little if any effect on inflation. Why not do what works. It's not rocket science. It's simple truth, and Bernanke knows it. 

Of course, he's Wall Street's man. They hired him. He does what he's told. His concern is their interests. Serving them leaves ordinary people high and dry. Don't expect that leopard to change its spots, except perhaps when the house he built collapses if he's still around and accountable.

On September 21, the London Telegraph quoted former Fed chairman Paul Volker saying QE III won't work. Nor will ECB money madness. He addressed a Gleneagles, Scotland conference.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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