Fed cuts rate to less than 0.25% - promises to flood the world with money

Well, folks, history was made today. The US now has an official "range" of between 0% and 0.25% for the Fed Funds interest rate.

Of course this is no different than what the effective interest rate has been for a while (so the Fed is, as always, merely following the market), but now it's official.

Perhaps our fellow readers from Japan can tell us what comes next.

Bernanke is trying out a gigantic academic experiment to see if past excesses and malinvestments caused by interest rates set too low and money made too cheap can be fixed by setting interest rates even lower and money even cheaper.

I see this path as fraught with risks and I would have preferred that we wring out the bad debts as quickly as possible.

Instead we get this collection of policy failures guaranteed to either make this whole thing last a lot longer than it otherwise would, make it all worse by compounding past mistakes, or both.

We begin with the headlines announcing the new Federal Funds interest rate and setting expectations for future rate changes:

FOMC cuts fed funds rate to range of 0% to 0.25%

FOMC to keep funds rate 'exceptionally low' for some time

The statement "for some time" is meant to signal to the big players in the markets that they can count on the Fed to keep the rates low for a long time and to carefully telegraph any future rate changes well in advance giving these people time to get out of the way later on. This act of 'telegraphing' is a continuation of one of the greatest failures of the Greenspan era. Whereas before I said the Fed really only has two tools in their toolbox, setting the price of money and the amount, they used to have three tools, the third one being surprise.

But surprise turns out to be frowned upon by politicians and Wall Street types so it was abandoned by Greenspan, which is too bad because the lack of surprise is what got us here.

Specifically I am thinking of the water-torture of 14-in-a-row 'measured' 0.25% interest rate increases that Greenspan started and Ben continued in a lame attempt to carefully deflate an out-of-control credit bubble.

Since all the market participants were 100% certain that the next hike was going to be 0.25% and that no surprises were coming they did not change their behavior, risk continued to build, and derivatives grew to extinction-level proportions. In short, the bubble got worse, not better.

And what of the rest of the Fed words?

FOMC statement details plans for quantitative easing

Fed to keep its balance sheet at 'high level'

Fed to flood financial system with money

FOMC to purchase large quantities of agency debt, securities

Fed considers buying longer-term Treasurys

Here all I can tell you is back up the truck and load it with anything that can be shipped and is priced in dollars - they're throwing Uncle Buck under the bus. Gold is my personal favorite because it is liquid across all currencies.

I was wondering what would happen to the free money being given to the big banks via the Fed's negative interest rate program. Here they put my troubled mind at ease:

The board also established interest rates on required and excess reserve balances of 1/4%.

What this line means is that regardless of the effective fed funds rate the Fed will be paying 0.25% to banks on all their reserves, whether required or 'excess'. If you loan money at 0% and then pay 0.25% when it is handed back to you for keeping in your institution, that means you are offering a negative rate of interest. This Negative Interest Rate Policy, or NIRP, sets us apart from even the Japanese whom, to the best of my knowledge, never attempted this.

The Fed is going to print money out of thin air as fast as they possibly can until we get back to a healthy level of "growth", whatever that means.

Every single one of those statements signals the most aggressive monetary printing ever considered or undertaken by the US Federal reserve.

It is history in the making. Keep a journal because these are the days upon which everyone will look back and ask, "what happened?"

At the end of it all, what this boils down to is a desperate attempt to return to "growth" and to how things used to be. There is no outward questioning of whether this is a good idea or not, it is simply assumed that everyone is in agreement on this matter.

But a blind return to growth at any cost will cost us much and yield little. Perhaps worst of all, it will steal from other more obviously productive investments that we could and should be making at this stage.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/fed-cuts-rate-to-less-than-0-25-promises-to-flood-the-world-with-money-2/

I sometimes wonder if the measures are taken to get back to growth or blow up the bubble as fast as it can to get it over with.
More gold on its way…

Second that, how many sheeple do you think would have listened and followed if Greenspan simply said: "work hard, save and buy a home to live not for profit"? Zilch. For what it is worth, this generation has learnt a lasting lesson: "home prices can decline", "corporations are greedy and they need to be regulated".

Sometimes I feel Greenspan did a good thing, but then some smart, educated and responsible people are paying for this and it is totally unfair.


Perhaps I will say naive in posing this question, but hear me out. For the record, I believe the long trend of (hyper)inflation will absolutely hold and I am investing accordingly.

My question is what was the mechanism in Japan that allowed so much deflation to occur under ZIRP?

Are there any reasons to believe that those same circumstances could occur in America?

Doesn’t seem like that’s the case today anyway…gold at $857.




"The Fleecing of America…"


What is up with absolutely ZERO accountability? It just makes me sick.




Chris and others…please provide answers/thoughts to questions below.


As understand it…isn’t inflation or hyperinflation eventual outcome. If agree then


1.) What areas…financial or non-financial of major cash infusions…will it show up first?

2.) Are there historical analogs we can learn from?

3.) How quickly will we see this? Note: Reviewed my MBA course notes…teacher stated changes like this will have impacts within 6 months.

Shouldn’t we analyzing actions regarding these 3 questions above or am I missing something?

If questions reasonable and on correct track…shouldn’t we list and setup short…long term metrics (beliver in Deming and Drucker).





For anyone who has read any Austrian Economics we know that the Fed’s actions is leading to complete dollar collapse.

We are doomed.

my first thought was that the Fed is helping the big banks deleverage. It’s going to lead to a sucker’s rally which will allow the big banks to dump their equity holding

>3.) How quickly will we see this?

If I had to guess I’d say things will start to heat up after the holidays. That’s when the stock market is going to plung and the dollar will continue to decline rapidly

Austrian Economics also tells us that this isn’t as much from too little regulation but more likely from government intervention in free markets.

Would you say that governments intervened just enough to create moral hazard, and not enough to prevent the resultant bad behaviour?

In a true free market, establishment folk and the rich would be exposed to the risk of losing everything, but they weren’t in this case because of their friends in high places.

Instead the small prudent businessman with a positive cash balance and a modest lifestyle gets shafted for it and I’m angry. I can understand how small a step it might be for some people to become civil disobedience angry…

That is the problem, the markets as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world until end Amen, are never free just like any other religion!

Maybe I’m confused or something… I’m certainly not an expert on Mr. Bernanke, but…

I thought Ben Bernanke’s whole claim to fame was, specifically, knowing better than to do this. Isn’t he supposedly famous for understanding the perils of a liquidity trap and hasn’t he been outspoken in the past about saying that letting interest rates get all the way down to zero would never happen on his watch?

I thought his advertised core competency was knowing what to do in order to avoid ever getting to the point of lowering interest rates to zero. Am I missing something here?



I guess once again Ben falls victim to the saying "actions speak louder than words". He is to scared to do anything different and even if he did think outside the box…he is playing with the big boys and it would take alot of guts to do what he believed.

"bernanke is trying out a gigantic academic experiment"

oh really. dr. marttenson i would like to know just how you arrived st the conclusion he is trying out an experiment as opposed to carrying out a plan?

same question in regard to greenspan "telegraphing " his interest rate moves? ie was it a failure or a success?

as for productive investments. well everyone here knows a ton more about investments than this ol hill hippy.

but it would seem that with the establishment of the dollar carry trade ( now we dont have to go to japan , well not we exactly, them that can get paid to take money from us) it would seem they will jettison there positions in the market which will crash at some point. as a student of history i seem to recall that all the "boys " got out a few months before oct. 29. as for the rest of the"investors" well y’all come back now ya hear

i think at that point the only thing i know is they will back up the truck and grab all the gold thay can or have already started grabbing.

but like i said i am just sittin here in the backwoods of the ozarks waitin to take a pot shot at the next damn revenooer to come down the road .

ps on the you tube video i heard peter schiff say that in 4 or 5 years no one will be retired but the very wealthy.

well golly i knew i was gonna work till i died but it is gonna come as some kinda shock to quite a few folks

hi erik

well you might be missing something and it might be the difference between plan and accident.

I have an observation and an analogy (which is not entirely mine but thought up in conversation with friend on this subject) The observation: Bernanke is doing exactly what the "villain" Greenspan did and yet Bernanke is a hero. The media have jumped all over Greenspan, perhaps rightly so, for instigating the crisis … yet today they laud Bernanke as a savior. There is something wrong with this picture. A great analogy: It seems that our entire mess is the result of a huge (and multiple) Ponzi scheme. Just like Madoff’s scheme, our financial system came crashing down because the source of new funds dried up and the scheme could no longer be churned. The pyramid was crashing down until today when a new and bigger fool stepped up to the plate and offered to put more money in the scheme so it could keep going. That fool, of course, is the citizenry of the U.S. courtesy of Ben Bernanke. And when the Ponzi scheme does finally crash because there just ain’t any fools left, the U.S. citizens will be the biggest losers

This action by the Fed is as close to the lowest ‘wholesale price’ for money as you can pretty much get.

What I have trouble getting my head around is how a fiat system has such difficulty battling deflationary pressures. I wish Chris Martenson would do a supplement to the crash course explaining the confusing area of deflation and how a paper currency system is just as susceptible to it as it was in the early 1930s.

Surely all these helicopter drops of money has to be has to be going somewhere. Is it just evaporating into the debt? I sure would like know how it works in a deflationary atmosphere.


I suggest that Japan was led to its hyperinflation by the policies (Keynsien Economics) that were imposed on it post ww2 by the allies. When the bubble burst, the Japanese character (frugal, high saving, hard working) re established itself. The US is less likely to follow suit because these qualities have been forgotten for a number of generations.

Japan’s low to no growth economy in the last 10 or more years might provide us with useful guidelines on how a major economy can adjust to zero growth and deflation because as I understand it this (our?!) site is pushing for a low to zero growth world.



You do raise a good point. There seems to be little reason to believe that the American consumer will remain sober for long. Indeed, our own politicians are telling us to consume more.

This raises yet another question: Since fiat currency has sustained itself in Japan over years and years with little to no growth, little inflation, and low interest rates, what’s to say that at least in theory, we couldn’t do that with a fiat system here? I despise the manipulated paper standard we have, but I’m just curious if there’s a difference between the way Japan handled no growth and the options we have.