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Peter Schiff: Fed Money Magicians Running Out Of Rabbits

Peter Schiff: Fed Money Magicians Running Out Of Rabbits


Most people think everything is fine. The Fed is getting inflation…



Peter Schiff: Fed Money Magicians Running Out Of Rabbits


Most people think everything is fine. The Fed is getting inflation under control and soon they’ll be able to cut interest rates, keeping the economy from falling into a deep recession. In his podcast, Peter Schiff poured cold water on this narrative. He explains why the Fed won’t be able to repeat the magic it pulled off after the financial crisis and COVID.

Oil prices continued to climb last week. Meanwhile, bond yields also continue to push higher.

As Peter pointed out, one of the big reasons CPI came down so quickly was falling energy prices.

People forget oil prices fell almost 50% from their peak, and that fall ended in May of this year. But that big decline in oil prices was a major factor in bringing headline inflation from 9% to 3%. And it’s not just the rate hikes that did it. I mean, they were partially responsible because the rate hikes pushed up the dollar and the dollar going up brings oil prices down.”

But Peter said there was another significant factor – President Biden selling oil from the strategic oil reserve. Today, reserves are at a 40-year low.

At this point, the US economy could only run for 20 days on the current oil reserves.

The point I’m making is there’s not much room now, given how low the reserves are. We can’t really keep selling. We can’t have no reserves. And we really can’t let them get any lower.

Meanwhile, oil prices are now up 37% since the price bottomed out a few months ago.

All of that hasn’t even shown up yet. It’s just started. But we’re going to start to see that in the CPI numbers.”

And if the US tries to refill those reserves, it will put even more upward pressure on global oil prices. So, the bottom line is the US is no longer in a position where it can manipulate oil prices lower.

Remember, it was the money supply, the inflation, that was driving the prices higher because you have more money. But because we dumped all that oil out of the Strategic Oil Petroleum Reserve, we also had more supply. … That was unnatural. We can’t keep that up indefinitely because if we do, we’re going to run out of oil completely.”

The point is, they have already done that trick. They don’t have that rabbit to pull out of the hat anymore.

How is Biden going to keep the price of oil from going up? He’s not. So, inflation is going to continue to drive higher, and that basically destroys this whole disinflation narrative.”

And so does what’s happening in the bond market.

Interest rates are rising, and oil prices are rising. So, energy is a major cost input for the economy that needs to be passed on to consumers. But so is interest. Because there’s one thing that Americans have in abundance and that’s debt. And that’s businesses too. … Everybody partook in this debt orgy when the Fed had interest rates at zero … and now they have to pay the bill.”

As businesses refinance debt at much higher interest rates, that increases their costs. It’s really no different than rent or the cost of materials going up.

The customer has to pay for all the costs of the business so the business can survive. And of course, the business has to make a profit. It can’t just be break-even. … So, you have to charge your customer more money than it costs you to provide the services he’s buying or produce the goods that he’s buying. As it costs you more to produce those goods and services, you have to raise your prices.”

In a nutshell, energy prices have gone up and interest rates have gone up. All of this is going to bleed into higher consumer prices. The markets still don’t get this.

The markets are still not reacting to the reality of what’s going on because they don’t even understand what’s going on.”

Most people are still optimistic that the Fed is close to winning the inflation fight. That means the central bank will be able to cut interest rates soon.

Everybody is waiting for the Fed to cut rates because there is no way the economy can survive if the Fed doesn’t cut rates. I think a lot of people may understand that. They just assume that it’s not going to be an issue, because of course, the Fed is going to cut rates.”

The only way the US government, American consumers, and businesses can handle their debt loads is if interest rates drop.

Everybody expects that’s what’s going to happen because inflation is going to come down. But it’s all predicated on the false belief that inflation can come back down to 2%, which it can’t. And if you’re looking at what’s happening with interest rates and oil, that’s obvious.”

This doesn’t look like an economy in the midst of disinflation.

We didn’t even get to 2%. We came down to 3%, and then we turned around, and we’re heading back up. It’s like a plane. It tried to land, and then it missed the landing, and it had to pull up. And now the pilot’s going right back up. That’s where we’re going with the CPI. The markets are not expecting this.”

Looking at the deeper market psychology, most people think there is very little risk in the stock market. Sure, it might go down. But the Federal Reserve won’t let it stay down,

Investors know that even if they screw up and the market tanks, and if the economy goes into a recession, which could impact earnings, the Fed is going to come in and cut the rates back to zero and everything is going to go back up.”

In this environment, fundamentals go out the window. Investors are willing to overpay for a stock because it will likely keep going up. If it goes down, the central bank will print a bunch of money and slash interest rates so we can borrow money, buy more stock, and drive the price even higher.

If markets weren’t expecting the Fed to bail them out, investors would not pay such high prices for stocks. It would be too risky.”

Investors are about to find out that safety net isn’t there anymore because price inflation is no longer low.

The only way the Fed was able to bail the economy out of the 2008 financial crisis was by creating inflation. They were able to do that because price inflation – the way they measure inflation – stayed around 2%. Then they created more inflation to get the economy out of the COVID government shutdown mess. That was the final straw. Over the last two years, we’ve seen the impact of inflation — money creation — in rapidly rising prices.

When price inflation is the problem, inflation can’t be the solution. You can’t solve the inflation problem by creating inflation. That is the bind.”

People don’t understand that the low price inflation we lived through for more than a decade was the aberration.

The problem is when the next disaster happens, the Fed can’t save us with more inflation. I mean, they can try. It won’t work. They may not try. Maybe they’ll realize it doesn’t work. But they’re not going to be able to get rates back to zero. They’re not going to be able to launch another round of QE.”

If the Fed does try to do what it’s done in the past — it will blow up the dollar.

There is no doubt in my mind that when this next crisis hits the banking system or the economy or the markets, it will be with inflation going up. So, the Fed is going to have to create more inflation when high inflation is the problem. And that makes it an even bigger problem. And then when the bottom drops out of the dollar, and then prices really take off, then everything the Fed is doing is backfiring.”

In other words, the Fed doesn’t have any more rabbits to pull out of its hat.

Tyler Durden Mon, 09/11/2023 - 13:05

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Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super…



Are Voters Recoiling Against Disorder?

Authored by Michael Barone via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The headlines coming out of the Super Tuesday primaries have got it right. Barring cataclysmic changes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will be the Republican and Democratic nominees for president in 2024.

(Left) President Joe Biden delivers remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library in Culver City, Calif., on Feb. 21, 2024. (Right) Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump stands on stage during a campaign event at Big League Dreams Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nev., on Jan. 27, 2024. (Mario Tama/Getty Images; David Becker/Getty Images)

With Nikki Haley’s withdrawal, there will be no more significantly contested primaries or caucuses—the earliest both parties’ races have been over since something like the current primary-dominated system was put in place in 1972.

The primary results have spotlighted some of both nominees’ weaknesses.

Donald Trump lost high-income, high-educated constituencies, including the entire metro area—aka the Swamp. Many but by no means all Haley votes there were cast by Biden Democrats. Mr. Trump can’t afford to lose too many of the others in target states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Majorities and large minorities of voters in overwhelmingly Latino counties in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and some in Houston voted against Joe Biden, and even more against Senate nominee Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas).

Returns from Hispanic precincts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts show the same thing. Mr. Biden can’t afford to lose too many Latino votes in target states like Arizona and Georgia.

When Mr. Trump rode down that escalator in 2015, commentators assumed he’d repel Latinos. Instead, Latino voters nationally, and especially the closest eyewitnesses of Biden’s open-border policy, have been trending heavily Republican.

High-income liberal Democrats may sport lawn signs proclaiming, “In this house, we believe ... no human is illegal.” The logical consequence of that belief is an open border. But modest-income folks in border counties know that flows of illegal immigrants result in disorder, disease, and crime.

There is plenty of impatience with increased disorder in election returns below the presidential level. Consider Los Angeles County, America’s largest county, with nearly 10 million people, more people than 40 of the 50 states. It voted 71 percent for Mr. Biden in 2020.

Current returns show county District Attorney George Gascon winning only 21 percent of the vote in the nonpartisan primary. He’ll apparently face Republican Nathan Hochman, a critic of his liberal policies, in November.

Gascon, elected after the May 2020 death of counterfeit-passing suspect George Floyd in Minneapolis, is one of many county prosecutors supported by billionaire George Soros. His policies include not charging juveniles as adults, not seeking higher penalties for gang membership or use of firearms, and bringing fewer misdemeanor cases.

The predictable result has been increased car thefts, burglaries, and personal robberies. Some 120 assistant district attorneys have left the office, and there’s a backlog of 10,000 unprosecuted cases.

More than a dozen other Soros-backed and similarly liberal prosecutors have faced strong opposition or have left office.

St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner resigned last May amid lawsuits seeking her removal, Milwaukee’s John Chisholm retired in January, and Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby was defeated in July 2022 and convicted of perjury in September 2023. Last November, Loudoun County, Virginia, voters (62 percent Biden) ousted liberal Buta Biberaj, who declined to prosecute a transgender student for assault, and in June 2022 voters in San Francisco (85 percent Biden) recalled famed radical Chesa Boudin.

Similarly, this Tuesday, voters in San Francisco passed ballot measures strengthening police powers and requiring treatment of drug-addicted welfare recipients.

In retrospect, it appears the Floyd video, appearing after three months of COVID-19 confinement, sparked a frenzied, even crazed reaction, especially among the highly educated and articulate. One fatal incident was seen as proof that America’s “systemic racism” was worse than ever and that police forces should be defunded and perhaps abolished.

2020 was “the year America went crazy,” I wrote in January 2021, a year in which police funding was actually cut by Democrats in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Denver. A year in which young New York Times (NYT) staffers claimed they were endangered by the publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) opinion article advocating calling in military forces if necessary to stop rioting, as had been done in Detroit in 1967 and Los Angeles in 1992. A craven NYT publisher even fired the editorial page editor for running the article.

Evidence of visible and tangible discontent with increasing violence and its consequences—barren and locked shelves in Manhattan chain drugstores, skyrocketing carjackings in Washington, D.C.—is as unmistakable in polls and election results as it is in daily life in large metropolitan areas. Maybe 2024 will turn out to be the year even liberal America stopped acting crazy.

Chaos and disorder work against incumbents, as they did in 1968 when Democrats saw their party’s popular vote fall from 61 percent to 43 percent.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 23:20

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Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),




Veterans Affairs Kept COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate In Place Without Evidence

Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reviewed no data when deciding in 2023 to keep its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place.

Doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Washington in a file image. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

VA Secretary Denis McDonough said on May 1, 2023, that the end of many other federal mandates “will not impact current policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

He said the mandate was remaining for VA health care personnel “to ensure the safety of veterans and our colleagues.”

Mr. McDonough did not cite any studies or other data. A VA spokesperson declined to provide any data that was reviewed when deciding not to rescind the mandate. The Epoch Times submitted a Freedom of Information Act for “all documents outlining which data was relied upon when establishing the mandate when deciding to keep the mandate in place.”

The agency searched for such data and did not find any.

The VA does not even attempt to justify its policies with science, because it can’t,” Leslie Manookian, president and founder of the Health Freedom Defense Fund, told The Epoch Times.

“The VA just trusts that the process and cost of challenging its unfounded policies is so onerous, most people are dissuaded from even trying,” she added.

The VA’s mandate remains in place to this day.

The VA’s website claims that vaccines “help protect you from getting severe illness” and “offer good protection against most COVID-19 variants,” pointing in part to observational data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that estimate the vaccines provide poor protection against symptomatic infection and transient shielding against hospitalization.

There have also been increasing concerns among outside scientists about confirmed side effects like heart inflammation—the VA hid a safety signal it detected for the inflammation—and possible side effects such as tinnitus, which shift the benefit-risk calculus.

President Joe Biden imposed a slate of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in 2021. The VA was the first federal agency to implement a mandate.

President Biden rescinded the mandates in May 2023, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. His administration maintains the choice to require vaccines was the right one and saved lives.

“Our administration’s vaccination requirements helped ensure the safety of workers in critical workforces including those in the healthcare and education sectors, protecting themselves and the populations they serve, and strengthening their ability to provide services without disruptions to operations,” the White House said.

Some experts said requiring vaccination meant many younger people were forced to get a vaccine despite the risks potentially outweighing the benefits, leaving fewer doses for older adults.

By mandating the vaccines to younger people and those with natural immunity from having had COVID, older people in the U.S. and other countries did not have access to them, and many people might have died because of that,” Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine on leave from Harvard Medical School, told The Epoch Times previously.

The VA was one of just a handful of agencies to keep its mandate in place following the removal of many federal mandates.

“At this time, the vaccine requirement will remain in effect for VA health care personnel, including VA psychologists, pharmacists, social workers, nursing assistants, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, peer specialists, medical support assistants, engineers, housekeepers, and other clinical, administrative, and infrastructure support employees,” Mr. McDonough wrote to VA employees at the time.

This also includes VA volunteers and contractors. Effectively, this means that any Veterans Health Administration (VHA) employee, volunteer, or contractor who works in VHA facilities, visits VHA facilities, or provides direct care to those we serve will still be subject to the vaccine requirement at this time,” he said. “We continue to monitor and discuss this requirement, and we will provide more information about the vaccination requirements for VA health care employees soon. As always, we will process requests for vaccination exceptions in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.”

The version of the shots cleared in the fall of 2022, and available through the fall of 2023, did not have any clinical trial data supporting them.

A new version was approved in the fall of 2023 because there were indications that the shots not only offered temporary protection but also that the level of protection was lower than what was observed during earlier stages of the pandemic.

Ms. Manookian, whose group has challenged several of the federal mandates, said that the mandate “illustrates the dangers of the administrative state and how these federal agencies have become a law unto themselves.”

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 22:10

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Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate…



Low Iron Levels In Blood Could Trigger Long COVID: Study

Authored by Amie Dahnke via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

People with inadequate iron levels in their blood due to a COVID-19 infection could be at greater risk of long COVID.


A new study indicates that problems with iron levels in the bloodstream likely trigger chronic inflammation and other conditions associated with the post-COVID phenomenon. The findings, published on March 1 in Nature Immunology, could offer new ways to treat or prevent the condition.

Long COVID Patients Have Low Iron Levels

Researchers at the University of Cambridge pinpointed low iron as a potential link to long-COVID symptoms thanks to a study they initiated shortly after the start of the pandemic. They recruited people who tested positive for the virus to provide blood samples for analysis over a year, which allowed the researchers to look for post-infection changes in the blood. The researchers looked at 214 samples and found that 45 percent of patients reported symptoms of long COVID that lasted between three and 10 months.

In analyzing the blood samples, the research team noticed that people experiencing long COVID had low iron levels, contributing to anemia and low red blood cell production, just two weeks after they were diagnosed with COVID-19. This was true for patients regardless of age, sex, or the initial severity of their infection.

According to one of the study co-authors, the removal of iron from the bloodstream is a natural process and defense mechanism of the body.

But it can jeopardize a person’s recovery.

When the body has an infection, it responds by removing iron from the bloodstream. This protects us from potentially lethal bacteria that capture the iron in the bloodstream and grow rapidly. It’s an evolutionary response that redistributes iron in the body, and the blood plasma becomes an iron desert,” University of Oxford professor Hal Drakesmith said in a press release. “However, if this goes on for a long time, there is less iron for red blood cells, so oxygen is transported less efficiently affecting metabolism and energy production, and for white blood cells, which need iron to work properly. The protective mechanism ends up becoming a problem.”

The research team believes that consistently low iron levels could explain why individuals with long COVID continue to experience fatigue and difficulty exercising. As such, the researchers suggested iron supplementation to help regulate and prevent the often debilitating symptoms associated with long COVID.

It isn’t necessarily the case that individuals don’t have enough iron in their body, it’s just that it’s trapped in the wrong place,” Aimee Hanson, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Cambridge who worked on the study, said in the press release. “What we need is a way to remobilize the iron and pull it back into the bloodstream, where it becomes more useful to the red blood cells.”

The research team pointed out that iron supplementation isn’t always straightforward. Achieving the right level of iron varies from person to person. Too much iron can cause stomach issues, ranging from constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain to gastritis and gastric lesions.

1 in 5 Still Affected by Long COVID

COVID-19 has affected nearly 40 percent of Americans, with one in five of those still suffering from symptoms of long COVID, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Long COVID is marked by health issues that continue at least four weeks after an individual was initially diagnosed with COVID-19. Symptoms can last for days, weeks, months, or years and may include fatigue, cough or chest pain, headache, brain fog, depression or anxiety, digestive issues, and joint or muscle pain.

Tyler Durden Sat, 03/09/2024 - 12:50

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