The Federal Reserve’s zero-interest rate policies (ZIRP) has The Fed Funds Target Rate at a measly 25 basis points or 0.25%. While this is great for some, it is disastrous for savers. Once we subtract off the inflation rate (CPI YoY), we find that the REAL 90-day Certificate of Deposit (CD) rate is a horrifying -6.74%.
I don’t think that Congress or the Biden Administration really think about how their spending may contribute to inflation and crush savers. Or the American worker who is seeing NEGATIVE real average hourly earnings growth (yes, Biden said that Americans have more money this holiday season … but not if we account for reduced spending power, also known as inflation.
I love how The Federal Reserve talking heads, the media, economists like Paul Krugman, all refer to inflation as “transitory” and excessive liquidity as “temporary.”
Let’s look at a variety of alternative investments to the S&P 500, GameStop, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Gold after The Federal Reserve’s and Federal government massive (over)reaction to COVID in early 2020. Gold is the first asset to surge after M2 Money surged, but has declined since. Game Stop had a big surge (likely due to positive vibes on Reddit), but has been volatile and generally falling since “The Surge.” Bitcoin had a delayed surge as did Ethereum. Despite fear about government regulation, Ethereum in particular remains elevated.
The “temporary” stimulus has resulted in the lowest M2 Money velocity in history. And we will have to see if the “temporary” excess liquidity in the financial system is truly temporary.
Here is a chart to show the “Stimulytpo” effect on commercial and industrial loans which surged (including PPP loans) but have simmered down to pre-COVID levels.
The earnings for GameStop were terrible (down 39.7% YoY). But at least Christmas season is upon us and maybe GameStop will surge with a good retail spending season.
But what happens to markets if the Federal government “stimulypto” is removed? If it ever is.