Inter-galactic bailout?! The Fed reaches beyond borders
According to some reports, the U.S. Federal Reserve plans to bail out Europe by adding cash from the International Monetary Fund. What next?
The Fed is now bailing out the whole world! But who will bail out the Fed?Skip to next paragraph
Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance. Since 1999, Bill has been a daily contributor and the driving force behind The Daily Reckoning (dailyreckoning.com).
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After the news came out yesterday, the Dow rose 249 points. Gold was up $2.
Here’s the latest from Bloomberg:
Stocks jumped, sending US benchmark indexes to their biggest gains in three months, while the euro and commodities rallied and Treasuries slid amid improving data on the American and Chinese economies and speculation of a larger effort to end Europe’s debt crisis.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.2 percent, the most since Sept. 1. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 2.2 percent, its biggest gain since Aug. 2. The euro rebounded above $1.31 while Spanish 10-year bonds snapped an 11-day drop. The rate on 10-year Treasury notes increased 17 basis points to 2.97 percent, a four-month high. Oil and copper advanced more than 3 percent. After the US close, S&P 500 futures added 0.1 percent at 7 p.m. in New York and Japan’s stocks rose in early trading.
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet said yesterday that investors are underestimating policy makers’ determination to halt the region’s debt crisis and shore up the euro ahead of a meeting of the bank’s Governing Council tomorrow.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 249.76 points, or 2.3 percent, to 11,255.78. The Dow has rallied in December more than in any other month over the last century, according to Bespoke Investment Group. The 30-stock gauge rose 1.3 percent on average in the month during the past 100 years and gained 1.5 percent and 1.7 percent over the last 50 and 20 years, respectively, the Bespoke data show.
Stocks and the euro extended gains after Reuters reported that an unidentified official said the US may support enlarging a European financial rescue program by adding cash from the International Monetary Fund. The US is not discussing extra IMF money for Europe, a US official in Washington told Bloomberg News.
“Whoa…did you see that?” asked an Indian analyst we met this morning. “This is it. They’re really turning on the presses now. They’re trying to bail out the entire world. I never would have believed it. But it makes sense.”
The US official may not be discussing it openly, but Fed figures show that the US central banks is already bailing out foreigners. Reports tell us that 35 foreign banks took advantage of its EZ money policies. It appears that the Fed is supporting Europe’s banking sector.
And it would not be surprising if the US also backed the IMF. It’s not just the banks that are in trouble in Europe. Governments are deep in debt too. They are so intertwined, that it’s hard to know where private debt ends and public debt begins.
Americans may see the dollar rising against the euro and feel a little patriotic pride. But this is not a good thing for Americans. If Europe comes unhinged, the crisis will waste no time in hitting American banks and the US economy. Ben Bernanke has been trying to get the dollar to go down. A rising greenback makes Germany’s products less expensive and US exports less competitive. It contributes to the threat of deflation…and encourages a long, drawn-out Japanese-style slump by prompting people to save, rather than spend.