The United States used to back every dollar in circulation with an equivalent value amount of physical gold bullion ( the gold standard), providing a tangible proof of the dollar’s value and a physical, transferable medium to base it’s value in. This was phased out under Nixon, but US dollars are still trusted because people know that the US will pay its bills. While the banks could simply print more money for every expenditure, the dollar would become worthless compared to any other currency.
Case in point, Zimbabwe. In order to combat their recession, instead of stimulus measures or austerity, they simply printed more money. This led to a hyper inflation of their currency where the exchange rate is somewhere around 1 US dollar to several trillion Zimbabwean dollars, and that was after their government arbitrarily lopped 10 figures off the value of their currency just to save people the hassle of carrying around garbage bags full of money just so they could have change for groceries.
The Federal Reserve, while it sounds like part of the government, that is only partially true. The “Fed” does not have to take orders from anyone, and for the most part can act autonomously. The Fed exists to back the banks that we all go to, making sure they will have enough money if a bank run were to happen. They also control the money supply to keep our economy in equilibrium – that is, neither in a recessionary or inflationary gap.
They control the supply of money in three different ways; the discount rate, the reserve market ratio, and open market operations.
The Reserve market ratio is the Fed’s required percentage of deposits that banks HAVE to keep on hand (so they can’t loan it out) in case some one comes looking to withdraw their money. The Fed currently hasn’t changed the ratio in something like 20 years (Currently at 10%). By adjusting this ratio, they essentially control how much money banks can loan. A lower ratio would allow more money to be loaned out, and through the money multiplier, money essentially gets “created” out of thin air. Say someone deposits $100, and the RRR is 10%. Banks keep $10 and loan $90. The original depositor still has $100 in their account, but now another person has $90 that didn’t exist before. Changing the ratio would allow more money to flow into the economy and help with a recessionary gap.
The discount rate is the rate at which the Fed will loan money to banks themselves to help keep them within the RRR. Because banks are constantly loaning and collecting money, it can be hard to always have 10% on hand (they have to keep an average of 10% over a 2 week period). If they happen to fall below the RRR, they can borrow money from the Fed to help stay within their bounds. (Usually they will actually borrow from other banks using the Federal Funds Rate, but that’s another topic) Changing this rate will either make it easier or harder for banks to stay within their boundaries. If the rate is low, they can borrow more money and loan it out easier, not really having to worry as much about the restrictions of the RRR.
Open market operations are the most prominently used tool of the Fed. This is where they buy and sell Treasury Bills or “T-bills” to and from the public, effectivly taking/putting money out of/into they economy. If they sell T-bills, they are taking the money from the public, dropping the money supply and slowing the economy (useful if experiencing an inflationary gap.) The same process works in reverse.
Now you see, the Fed has little to do with the Central government. They government has it’s own tools for fixing the economy and balancing it’s budget, known as fiscal policy (as opposed to the Fed’s monetary policy). The government can either adjust taxes, adjust spending, or adjust government transfers (things like retirement, Medicare, Welfare, etc), which are all fairly self explanatory.
There is very little interaction between the Fed and the Government regarding actual cash money, because we know from history that when that happens, it can lead to some large problems like large inflation rates.
TL/DR; Fed and Gov’t are separate entities which have historically shown that they really shouldn’t intermingle. They both have their own tools for adjusting the economy, and taxes happen to be one of the government’s.
Bitcoiners Not Worried Fed Money Printer Has Stopped Going ‘Brrrr’
It would be an understatement to say bitcoin has been a big disappointment for traders and investors over the past few months.
Ever since the coronavirus ravaged financial markets in March and sent the Federal Reserve scrambling to pump trillions of dollars of emergency liquidity into global financial markets, cryptocurrency analysts have speculated that a resulting surge in inflation would eventually push up bitcoin prices. The community even celebrated a meme, “Money printer go Brrr,” satirizing the U.S. central bank’s efforts.
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Yet since late April, bitcoin prices have barely increased – hovering around $9,000, which is up from around $7,600 at the start of 2020, but still well off the year’s high of $10,500, reached in February. At a time when the largest cryptocurrency was supposed to shine, it’s been pushed out of the limelight by rallies in tech stocks and gold, not to mention price zooms in a cadre of lesser-known digital tokens like Chainlink’s LINK , Cardano’s ADA and Aave’s LEND.
Bitcoin investors, though, are undaunted. They still see the cryptocurrency as a hedge against everything from inflation to turmoil in the global financial system to widespread bankruptcies, which by themselves could prompt new rounds of stimulus and money printing. The bet is that the apocalyptic economic scenario remains entirely possible during the remainder of this already-tumultuous year.
“Capitalism is either breaking, or is already broken, and investors know it even if they are still playing the game,” the cryptocurrency investment fund Arca wrote Monday in a weekly update. “We believe Bitcoin will remain the best insurance policy against currency collapse and a complete unwind of the financial system as we know it.”
Last week, the Fed’s balance sheet shrank by $88 billion, the most in 11 years, falling below $7 trillion as foreign central banks repaid emergency dollar loans known as “liquidity swaps.”
Theoretically such a decrease might be seen as bearish for bitcoin: The U.S. central bank’s money printer was essentially working in reverse as market funding strains eased. That might imply lower inflation in the future.
“This is part of the Fed’s success story in stabilizing markets,” Bloomberg News trumpeted in an email. Cryptocurrency analysts were more focused on developments in the fast-growing arena of “decentralized finance” than they were about bitcoin.
Even Federal Reserve officials acknowledge that further stimulus might be needed, with coronavirus cases rising across the southern and western U.S., threatening the prospect of a quick economic recovery.
Bank of America predicted in a report last week that the Fed’s balance sheet will climb by the end this year to about $7.6 trillion, which would be a new record.
But Marc Cabana, an interest-rates strategist for the bank, said in a phone interview that the “risks to our forecast are to the high side,” since it’s not unlikely that the U.S. central bank would pump in a fresh round of emergency liquidity if traditional financial markets took a turn for the worse.
“The U.S. appears to have the virus under control in no way, shape or form,” Cabana said. “If market conditions deteriorate, they would respond. If it was another very acute and rapid deterioration in liquidity conditions, it can be quite fast.”
In the U.S., extra unemployment checks of $600 are set to expire at the end of July, and lawmakers are debating a fresh round of stimulus. According to Reuters, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the Trump administration’s call to limit the next relief package to $1 trillion “doesn’t come anywhere near” to meeting the need.
“Anything less than a further $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion would be a damp squib,” Ian Shepherdson, of the economic forecasting firm Pantheon, wrote on Sunday.
Corporate bankruptcies are mounting, with the two-century-old clothier Brooks Brothers succumbing last week.
Big banks like JPMorgan Chase are preparing to report second-quarter results this week that analysts say will likely be marred by billions of dollars of loan-loss reserves.
The U.S. government’s budget deficit totaled $864 billion in June, nearly as much as in the entire fiscal 2019, the Treasury Department said Monday.
Economists at Deutsche Bank, the German lender, who have predicted that the U.S. deficit could total $4.5 trillion for all of fiscal 2020, say they expect the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet to expand to $8.3 trillion by the end of this year.
“It seems inconceivable to me that the Fed and other central bank balance sheets will do anything other than explode over the next decade and perhaps beyond,” Strategist Jim Reid wrote Monday in e-mailed comments.
Mike Novogratz, CEO of the digital-currency firm Galaxy Digital, told Bloomberg Television last week that the buoyant U.S. stock market is “unhinged from reality ” and that he’s been investing in gold and bitcoin.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency-data site Glassnode, in an email on Monday, highlighted an arcane analytical metric known as the “stablecoin supply ratio” that is supposedly bullish for bitcoin. There are signs that bitcoin is becoming more broadly distributed among a larger group of investors. And a key measure of the Bitcoin blockchain’s security rose Monday to a record level, a sign of ongoing investment by network operators.
Notoriously volatile bitcoin prices haven’t moved by more than 1% for five straight days. Christine Sandler, head of sales and marketing for digital assets at the money-management giant Fidelity Investments, told First Mover last week that greater price stability could induce more big institutional investors to consider an allocation to bitcoin.
“Perhaps this tamping of volatility will lead the thundering herd to crypto,” Sandler said.
For bitcoin investors, even the doldrums can seem bullish.
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You Can Now Shop With Bitcoin On Amazon Using Lightning (#GotBitcoin?)
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Crypto Faithful Say Blockchain Can Remake Securities Market Machinery (#GotBitcoin?)
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Binance Delists Bitcoin SV, CEO Calls Craig Wright A ‘Fraud’ (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Outperforms Nasdaq 100, S&P 500, Grows Whopping 37% In 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Bitcoin Passes A Milestone 400 Million Transactions (#GotBitcoin?)
Future Returns: Why Investors May Want To Consider Bitcoin Now (#GotBitcoin?)
Next Bitcoin Core Release To Finally Connect Hardware Wallets To Full Nodes (#GotBitcoin?)
Major Crypto-Currency Exchanges Use Lloyd’s Of London, A Registered Insurance Broker (#GotBitcoin?)
How Bitcoin Can Prevent Fraud And Chargebacks (#GotBitcoin?)
Why Bitcoin’s Price Suddenly Surged Back $5K (#GotBitcoin?)
Zebpay Becomes First Exchange To Add Lightning Payments For All Users (#GotBitcoin?)
Coinbase’s New Customer Incentive: Interest Payments, With A Crypto Twist (#GotBitcoin?)
The Best Bitcoin Debit (Cashback) Cards Of 2019 (#GotBitcoin?)
Real Estate Brokerages Now Accepting Bitcoin (#GotBitcoin?)
Ernst & Young Introduces Tax Tool For Reporting Cryptocurrencies (#GotBitcoin?)
Recession Is Looming, or Not. Here’s How To Know (#GotBitcoin?)
How Will Bitcoin Behave During A Recession? (#GotBitcoin?)
Many U.S. Financial Officers Think a Recession Will Hit Next Year (#GotBitcoin?)
Definite Signs of An Imminent Recession (#GotBitcoin?)
What A Recession Could Mean for Women’s Unemployment (#GotBitcoin?)
Investors Run Out of Options As Bitcoin, Stocks, Bonds, Oil Cave To Recession Fears (#GotBitcoin?)
Goldman Is Looking To Reduce “Marcus” Lending Goal On Credit (Recession) Caution (#GotBitcoin?)
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