Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Potential Consequences of Quantitative Easing And A Weaker U.S. Dollar

As the Federal Reserve continues to push quantitative easing and a resultant weakening of the U.S. Dollar, following is what John Maynard Keynes had to say about this in his writing, The Economic Consequences of the Peace.
"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security but [also] at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth.

Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become "profiteers," who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.

Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose."
As the below chart shows, the U.S. government is doing a pretty good job of debauching the U.S. Dollar.

From The Blog of HORAN Capital Advisors

As noted in a post I wrote in mid 2009, there can be short term positive implications for multinational U.S. companies as a result of a weaker U.S. Dollar. The problem is if many other countries are trying to force their currencies lower as well, it becomes a race to the bottom.

h/t: Ned Davis Research

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