This is from Personal Liberty;
Moe, Larry And Curly Bernanke
June 20, 2011 by Bob Livingston
In the 1940 short film “A Plumbing We Will Go,” The Three Stooges pose as plumbers trying to stop a leaky pipe in a large home while a party is going on.
Since they know nothing about plumbing, it isn’t long before the boys have connected the water pipes to a conduit and water is pouring out everywhere. Of course, the party is ruined and the house is wrecked.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is Moe, Larry and Curly all rolled into one, and his efforts to stop the leaky economy have been as successful as the boys’ efforts were in fixing the dripping pipe. Bernanke’s latest effort of quantitative easing — known as QE2 — is running out, and the bubble he created is deflating faster than one of the Stooges’ helium-filled cakes.
Last week, a Chinese ratings house accused the United States of defaulting on its massive debt by allowing the dollar to weaken against other currencies — eroding the wealth of its creditors, the biggest of which is China.
China holds $1.145 trillion of U.S. Treasury securities. That is down from its peak of $1.175 trillion in October, according to a story by the AFP news service.
China, the No. 1 holder of U.S. debt, is now a seller of U.S. Treasuries. Japan, the second largest holder of U.S. Treasuries, may soon be a seller as well. It needs money to repair infrastructure following this year’s earthquake and tsunami.
The stock market was down six weeks in a row before last week, when it finally finished a week on an up note. According to The Economic Collapse blog, that hasn’t happened since the dotcom bubble burst in May 2001.
The false euphoria created by QE2, which propped up Bernanke’s Wall Street buddies by driving money into the market, has worn off. Investors realize this, and they are looking for new places to put their money.
Meanwhile, once again, John and Jane American are watching their meager retirement funds dry up. Unemployment is up (the true unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers, is 22.3 percent, according to the National Inflation Association), manufacturing and consumer confidence are down and one in seven Americans is on food stamps. Millions of Americans receive some sort of government assistance.
The price of everything is increasing. According to NIA: “90% of sporting goods manufacturers have seen their input costs rise substantially this year and 41% of them have already announced major price increases for athletic apparel, footwear, and sports equipment. As the 8,000 toy manufacturers in China are forced to raise the wages they pay their employees, Toys R’ Us is now beginning to see major wholesale price increases for their products, which they will have to pass on to U.S. consumers. Hasbro recently raised prices on all of their products by 6% to 7%. Mattel recently imposed an across the board high single digit price increase after reporting a 33% decline in quarterly profits (despite sales surging by 8%) due to skyrocketing raw material costs.”
May sales reflected what consumers thought of the rising prices. Retail sales fell for the first time in 11 months. The drop in sales hit autos, electronics, appliances, furniture, groceries, sports retailers and department stores.
Bernanke said he wanted inflation. He got his wish. Now the question is: Is it getting out of hand?
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