Get Cozy, You're About to Meet the Fed
Settle in, kids, Jr Deputy Accountant is going to tell you a story. Get cozy and no one try to touch my ass while I'm telling you this, just shut up and listen.
Once upon a time, there was a creature called the Federal Reserve. Oooh it's already scary.
If you're on what some like to consider the tin foil hat side, you call it a Creature and just thinking about it makes your skin crawl. You believe that its inception goes against every logical right granted by the Constitution and you would like nothing more than to see a garlic salt-dusted spike jammed into its evil black heart. Whoa. Slow down there, killer, some vampires are deadlier than others.
If you're on the Creature's side, you dismiss the theories and wonder why people don't just click over to the Fed balance sheet if they are so damn interested where the money has gone. Hopefully you also giggle at Jr Deputy Accountant's BERNANKE 00% t-shirt and understand that though this is war, I mean no harm.
Somewhere in the middle, one begins to understand that this goes beyond Bernanke and the Board and Larry Summers falling asleep all over the place (I only mention Larry because he lost the Fed chairman job for being an asshat. Bernanke has FAILED and HE still has the job. Bwhahahaha, Larry!!). No one knows the whole story (even Fed people admit as much *cough*) and it's likely that no one ever will. Even Alan Greenspan doesn't know what the hell the Fed does.
Anyway, in the interest of that middle ground, as long as the Fed is listening, I will extend them the same courtesy. As I told the PCAOB, argue your case to me and I might change my tune. To date, no one's been able to convince me that I am wrong.
So, kids, most of us know by now that the Fed was birthed on Jekyll Island and enacted into law in 1913. December, actually, just after the birthday I share with Ben Bernanke, though neither he nor I had been born yet of course. But the Fed was and the dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power since. Fine, we all know that.
But it gets sketchy from there, and few of the details are agreed-upon. I mean how could they be? Part of the entire mission is to make this shit confusing, they even end up confusing themselves.
The Fed has two mandates: price stability and maximum employment. It is essentially a directive to manipulate and obfuscate markets' view. It is expressly charged with the duty of obscuring reality, directing markets, and poking and prodding here and there. If you're outraged by the amount of debt coming out of the United States right now and the parasite feeding off of all of it, you need to realize that this has always been their job, the only difference is that now you are paying attention. Welcome to reality, I recommend the following film if this is your first trip.
I recommend the same to the enemy standing on the other side of the line from me. How in the hell do you figure out what you are up against? You read your enemy's handbook. We've figured that out from here but the enemy can't seem to grasp the concept, dismissing our movement as trivial simply because they don't understand why we'd be pissed off over our dollars being devalued to nickels. Well shit, that shouldn't be hard to figure out. I am still available to explain if the enemy needs a more in-depth primer, I don't want this to be a handicapped battle.
So fast-forward to the dawn before the Fed's 100 year anniversary. Oh shit, bet they never expected anyone would care this much about what they're up to - homicidal maniac Alan Greenspan managed to manipulate markets beyond recognition in his 18 years and none of you gave a shit, did you? Sure, investors paid attention to the FOMC but now Ben Bernanke gets more face time on the teevee than Paris Hilton. Something has gone terribly awry. Holy shit, the sheep are paying attention.
Sorry but I refuse to sit here and allow my grandma to live off shitty 1% CD returns, Ben Bernanke, and I will continue to come after your ass until you fix this mess. Bust out the monetary ShamWow, bitch, you've got puddles of liquidity to mop up.
Monetary policy, meanwhile, is more magic than anything else. I know, crazy, right? It isn't the number that the Fed spits out when all's said and done and they part ways at the FOMC conference table, it's what markets perceive it to be. Fuck me sideways, do you think it is fair that these guys are whining about stopping too big too fail and meanwhile they themselves are so big they move monetary mountains in moments? Damn, guess we know who wins the largest financial balls contest, no use bothering with that.
No wonder the entire outfit is so esoteric (to steal Zimbabwe Ben's own parlance, again), many look at money as a total mystery. Money, its root, its meaning, the tangible representation of such - well fuck, that's too much to waste quality brain cells on, right? It's much like accounting - I have discovered in my nearly two and a half years on the fringes of the industry that accounting is a misunderstood science. It has nothing to do with numbers but the stereotypes remain, as do the fears surrounding comprehending such an unwelcoming facet of all of our lives. Accounting, money, the Fed... fuck it, what's on American Idol?
What one discovers almost immediately is that it isn't complicated at all. Monkeys could figure some of this shit out.
Ben Bernanke's greatest fear is that they will.
So you can sit there with a banana shoved up your ass or you can pick up a book and go wrap your brain around it like you were Goldman Sachs wrapped around the face of humanity. I can't tell you what your argument is or why we're doing it (I already know why I'm doing it, thanks) but if you do the slightest amount of digging, I think that point will become painfully clear. Don't take my word for it, I'm generally full of shit (something about being born on December 13 does that to a person I think).
Just a reminder that End the Fed is coming up again on 11/22 (ooooh the date the Creature was birthed on Jekyll Island, how absolutely ominous) in Fed bank cities around the country. I feel sorry for those Richmond idiots, what a waste of a good protest at that bank. Flights are cheap, come on out to San Francisco and get your best protesting in, kids, JDA will even let you sleep on her floor. Or in her backyard. Whatever.
The point is this: know your enemy. I've flipped off the Board in DC and yelled at passing cars in front of SF Fed holding signs but also give props where props are due. I might moon Dallas Fed if I ever get the chance but only out of admiration for Richard Fisher I swear.
See you there.
oh, and thanks for the comic books, NY Fed. Sucker ass punk bitches.
Some of JDA's greatest "fuck the Fed" hits while we're on the subject:
September 11: Freedom of Information for Quangos: Think You Can Crack the Fed? Good Luck.
August 25: Re: Pulling the Plug on the Fed
July 28: NY Fed Dots Its I's and Crosses Its T's with Friedman Replacement... Sort Of
Anyway, keep waiting for the rainbow-pissing unicorn, America, I really really hope that works out for you.
As far as ETF 09 is concerned in San Francisco, my pink bullet belt was taken by TSA in at the Richmond airport, Janet, but I'll slap on camo and war paint for your sake again. Wave if you can see me over the steering wheel of your Prius while you're making a Starbucks run on Market, girlie.
Skeptical CPA still thinks we should just kill the thing already. That's sort of less moderate than I care to be. I prefer fucking with them more on the way down myself, poking is so much more fun than outright dismantling so early.
In tangentially related ETF news, WC Varones informs me we have to procure a jambox to play this at ETF in SF (not safe for work, especially if you work at the Fed. Sorry, you know who you are, don't say I didn't try to warn you):
If anyone has one we can borrow that'd be great. Craigslist, WCV?