Just a Friendly Heads-Up, Bulls: The Fed Just Slashed its Balance Sheet

Just a Friendly Heads-Up, Bulls: The Fed Just Slashed its Balance Sheet by Charles Hugh Smith for Of Two Minds

Perhaps even PhD economists notice that manic-mania bubbles always burst–always.

Just a friendly heads-up to all the Bulls bowing and murmuring prayers to the Golden Idol of the Federal Reserve: the Fed just slashed its balance sheet–yes, reduced its assets. After panic-printing $410 billion in a few months, a $24 billion decline isn’t much, but it does suggest the Fed might finally be worrying about the reckless, insane bubble it inflated:

Just to review the numbers, which you can ponder on this chart from the St. Louis Federal Reserve (FRED).

August 28, 2019: $3.760 trillion

December 25, 2019: $4.165 trillion

January 1, 2020: $4.173 trillion

January 9, 2020: $4.149 trillion

There are two noteworthy items here. One is of course the panic-printing of $410 billion between September 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020 as the Fed’s assets zoomed from $3.760 trillion to $4.173 trillion in a mere 17 weeks.

But also note that the Fed only added a paltry $8 billion in the final week of 2019. Given the hundreds of billions of expansion being promised, this works out to a monthly run-rate of around $30 billion–not quite the $60 billion promised as a baseline, or the $100 billion per month panic-printed in Q4 2019.

Bu-bu-but wait–the Fed promised us $100 billion a month forever! Buying the SPX at 3,280 and Apple at $312 only makes sense if the Fed promised us SPX 3,500, 4,000 and 5,000, and AAPL $350, $400 and $500.

While all the faithful were busy bowing to the Fed’s mesmerizing Golden Idol, maybe the mortals in the Fed awakened from their dreams of omnipotence and realized that their “insurance against a recession” panic-printing had inflated the mother of all manic-mania bubbles.

Perhaps even PhD economists notice that manic-mania bubbles always burst–always. And just before they burst, devastating all those worshiping the Fed’s Golden Idol, pundits always declare “this time it’s different,” “the Fed has our back,” “stocks have reached a permanently high plateau,” “stocks have plenty of room to run higher,” and other platitudes mumbled by the Fed faithful.

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Chris Martenson

Build understanding, encourage small actions, then align with solutions. Many people have asked us, "Where are the large-scale solutions to all the problems you have described?" and "What should we do as a nation to avoid the seemingly inevitable consequences of this fiat money system?" We believe that we must reach a critical mass of individuals and ensure that they have an understanding of the ideas presented in the Crash Course, before any national or global solutions will even be possible. Because we are still quite far from this tipping point of understanding, we must first focus on educating. Many people have already reached a place of understanding and assumed responsibility for their futures, but most have not. Once we have achieved a critical mass of people who understand the issues and have taken responsible actions as a result, solutions will find more fertile ground in which to take root. The theory of action: building understanding Solutions should come from a position of understanding. Understanding arises from awareness, and awareness arises from the ashes of denial. In other words, the stages of action are: denial >> awareness >> understanding >> solutions. It is not enough for people to be aware that inflation exists, or that our monetary system has flaws, or that resources are depleting. If effective actions are to be formulated, then understanding is essential.