Market volatility has suddenly spiked in recent days came after the Federal Reserve vowed last Wednesday to keep its benchmark rate near zero through 2022.
That’s an unusually long period for the Fed to be projecting rate policy. It reflects the fact that it will take many months and perhaps years for the tens of millions of jobs that were recently lost to return.
Wild price action and unprecedented interventions once again characterized this holiday-shortened trading week.
Oil prices whipsawed lower Thursday on concerns about expected oil production cuts from Russia and Saudi Arabia. But the general trend for most other assets, including metals and equities, was up – way up.
Stocks finished out the week with the major averages posting their biggest weekly gains in decades in the space of just four trading days. Investors went on a buying spree based on hopes that we will soon see a definitive peak in coronavirus cases and begin the process of restarting the economy.
The roller coaster ride in markets took a sharp turn higher this week after the Federal Reserve and Congress together pledged over 6 trillion dollars to rescue the financial system.
Perhaps this week was an inflection point for the mass fear and panic that has cleared out bullion dealers of coins and grocery stores out of toilet paper. Although the number of coronavirus cases hasn’t yet peaked, there are some signs that the hysteria surrounding the deadly outbreak has.
The stock market finally put together a sustained rally even though the economy remains locked down. But how can equities jump without the impetus of actual earnings from business operations? The answer, of course, is that Wall Street is being reinflated by trillions of stimulus dollars created out of thin air.
The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the largest stimulus bill in the nation’s history, totaling $2.2 trillion. Some of the money will be sent directly to taxpayers. Some of it will help bail out the airlines and other distressed industries. Some of it will go toward medical supplies and equipment. And some of it will go toward wish list items that have nothing to do with the current crisis because opportunistic politicians never let a good crisis go to waste.
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation, a non-profit educational foundation with a mission to present the principled case for the libertarian philosophy. Mr. Hornberger is a native of Texas, served a number of years in the U.S. Army Reserves and authored a book titled My Passion for Liberty with introductions by Ron Paul and Richard Ebeling, the latter having been a one-time guest on our podcast, as a matter of fact.
He also served as one of the essay judges for the 2019 Money Metals Exchange Scholarship, the first gold backed scholarship of the modern era. And perhaps most notably and at the risk of burying the lede in his impressive bio, last fall Jacob announced his candidacy for president as a member of the Libertarian party and is currently campaigning as he seeks his party’s nomination.
It’s a tremendous honor to have him on with us today. Jacob, thank you so much for the time and welcome, sir.
Jacob Hornberger: Well, thank you, Mike. It’s nice to be here with y’all.
Mike Gleason: Well, let’s begin by having you introduce yourself a little bit more for our listeners, above and beyond the bio I just read, for people that may not be familiar with your candidacy so they can get a sense of what Jacob Hornberger is all about as a person and as a candidate. Let’s begin there.
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege now to welcome in JP Cortez with the Sound Money Defense League, a nonpartisan national public policy organization working to restore sound money at the state and federal level. JP is a proponent of and has studied in the Austrian school of economics and his role at SMDL as Policy Director has him regularly testifying at legislative hearings and speaking at various events around the country. His articles and analysis have appeared in many national news publications including the Washington Examiner, Huffington Post, Mises Institute, Foundation For Economic Education and many more, and he’s a frequent guest on various podcasts and national radio shows to talk about the importance of sound money legislation. And it’s a real pleasure to have him back on here with us on the Money Metals Podcast.
Mike Gleason: It is my privilege, now, to welcome in Jp Cortez, with the Sound Money Defense League, a non-partisan national public policy organization working to restore sound money on the state and federal level.
Jp is a proponent of, and has studied in the Austrian School of Economics, and his role at SMDL as policy director, has him regularly testifying at legislative hearings and speaking at various events throughout the country.
His articles and analysis have appeared in many national news publications, including The Washington Examiner, Huffington Post, Mises Institute, Foundation for Economic Education, and more, and he’s a frequent guest on various podcasts and national radio shows to talk about the importance of sound money legislation. And it’s a real pleasure to have him on with us today.
Jp, thanks for the time and welcome.
Jp Cortez: Mike, I appreciate you having me on. Thank you so much.
Mike Gleason: Well, Jp, as we start out today, let’s set the stage here and first have you explain why this idea of sound money is important in the first place, and then, as a follow up to that, what kind of policies would help restore and reinforce sound money? Let’s begin with that.
Chairman Powell’s testimony this week was closely scrutinized not just for its economic implications but also for its political overtones. Powell cited “trade tensions” as cause for concern about the strength of the global economy. He clearly seemed to be blaming President Trump’s tariffs.
But if the tariffs are what ultimately move the Fed to cut rates, Trump will have finally gotten what he wants out of Powell. In recent weeks, Trump has stepped up his attacks on the central bank, calling it the biggest problem facing the economy, floating the idea of firing Powell, and suggesting his administration would match China’s and Europe’s “currency manipulation game.”