Is the Fed Repeating
Wall Street’s Sins?
Joe Nocera: At a certain point, Wall Street ran out of clients to sell [securitized debt] to. So the only way it could keep the machine going was to buy it themselves.
Jon Stewart: So, they infected themselves. At the end, they themselves became vampires.
[Which suggests] a new theory on the financial crisis: it occurred because of an idiot shortage. If I’m the Fed, I just print more idiots.
–Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera Interview; The Daily Show (11/16/2010)
Instead of calling the Fed’s current monetary policy something arcane like “quantitative easing,” how about calling it “printing more idiots?”
At least, that’s how I understand it.
Just like Wall Street ran out of “idiots” to sell securitized debt to, the U.S. Treasury has started to run out of investors to buy (more) U.S. debt.
China already stuffed to the gills with U.S. bonds?
Ditto for Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and all our trading partners on the other side of our yawning trade deficit?
No problem — we’ll buy the bills and bonds ourselves!
Two years, five years, ten years . . . you name it.
In fact, we — the Fed — will buy so much, we’ll actually drive interest rates down.
Which is quite an accomplishment, given that long term interest rates have already collapsed, and short term rates are effectively zero.
Nothing could possibly go wrong with such a scheme . . . . right??