by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
During the year of moderate economic growth just past, when all parts of government should have been disentangling themselves from the real economy, the Fed picked up 40% of the federal government’s borrowing — a tidy, if not cool, half a trillion dollars. (China, by the way, was a net seller of Treasuries last year.)
Every year the Fed creates money to hold interest rates near zero adds to the pressure on markets to raise them. The Fed cannot keep on buying so much of the debt issued in America without cheapening the dollar and raising the dollar price of every non-financial asset.
Germany could not do it, Argentina could not do it, Brazil could not do it, Zimbabwe could not do it — and eventually markets forced them to stop trying.
Eventually, by market force or by better policies, the Fed will take its thumb off the scale that measures interest rates. Every American should hope that day comes quickly. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be to pay.