Fed chief Powell makes Biden look like a boob
So Putin didn't do it after all.
That's the uncomfortable-for-Joe-Biden verdict on inflation from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, in testimony to Congress yesterday.
According to Fox News:
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday appeared to contract President Biden's repeated insistence that Russia's invasion of Ukraine was the primary driver behind inflation in the U.S.
During a Senate Banking Committee hearing, Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., got Powell to admit that inflation was high well before Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Hagerty noted that in December 2021, inflation has risen to 7% — up from 1.4% in January 2021, when President Biden took office. Since Russian tanks rolled across the border of Ukraine, inflation has risen incrementally to its current level of 8.6%.
With these statistics stated, Hagerty asked Powell if he believed the war in Ukraine was the "primary driver" of inflation as the Biden administration has tried to portray.
"No inflation was high ... certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out," Powell said.
Hagerty noted that as recently as Sunday, Joe Biden was out shilling the claim that Russia's President Vladimir Putin was behind the monster surge in inflation seen in everything from mortgages to the price of eggs to the prices paid at the pump.
Don't point the finger at Joe Biden for this — Putin did it.
It's just such baloney.
Now that the Federal Reserve chief has weighed in, it doesn't sound quite as good as it had sounded for the cameras over the past weeks, parroted by the economically illiterate press.
Fact is, inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, to take part of a famous quote from economist Milton Friedman, and Joe has been at war with Friedman for decades. "Milton Friedman isn't running the show anymore," Biden yawped.
Actually, he is, and Powell is just waking up to that cold, hard reality after making a lot of stupid statements about the claimed need to "unlearn" monetarism, even though all goods are priced in dollars, which is devaluing as $4.7 trillion gets printed and released into the system with no place to go after the initial payouts.
Two top monetary economists, Prof. Steve Hanke and London economist John Greenwood, laid out very well how bad it's gotten in a letter to the Wall Street Journal earlier this month:
The lead paragraph of President Biden's op-ed "My Plan for Fighting Inflation" (May 31) asserts that the global economy faces an inflation problem exacerbated by Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, high oil prices and supply-chain problems. This line of argument shows why the president's team and the experts at the Federal Reserve were unable to anticipate the inflation conundrum that their economic missteps have forced us into. It also shows why the president's plan will likely fail to allow us to exit inflation with a smooth landing.
We don't have a global inflation problem. Inflations are always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon spawned by the creation of excess money by local central banks. China, Japan and Switzerland also face elevated oil prices, supply-chain problems and fallout from the war in Ukraine, but their annual inflation rates are 2.1%, 2.5% and 2.5%, respectively. They have avoided the ravages of inflation because their central banks haven't produced excessive quantities of money.
Now Powell seems to be recognizing the problem, abandoning his "modern monetary theory" nonsense now that inflation is biting. Biden is on the political skids because of it, and he's in the hot seat.
He's started to raise rates, which is the only thing that will begin to fix this, even as he risks recession because of it.
Former Kansas City Fed chief Thomas Hoenig laid out that inflation is baked in the cake. "In my view, when you expand money as aggressively as you did in 2020, you create consequences." He says there is no easy way that he knows of to bring the inflation rate down other than rate hikes, and the Fed has been behind the curve.
All of these are the voices of economic heavyweights. Joe Biden, by contrast, is shilling even worse nonsense than Gerald Ford's "Whip Inflation Now."
The big boys at the Fed are starting to move now, and Biden is being left in the dust, looking stupid.
Image: Screen shot from CNBC video via YouTube.