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Dr. Winston O'Boogie

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Dr. Winston O'Boogie last won the day on November 14 2022

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  1. Below is a 40-year chart of the M2 money supply which, as can be seen, began going parabolic in March. During and after the Great Recession / Financial Crisis the Fed did a lot of Quantitative Easing (QE). People referred to this as the Fed "printing money". Okay, fine, but "money" is actually a fairly slippery concept. I would argue that a more accurate and helpful description is that the Fed was printing "base money" in the form of bank reserves, not "actual, usable money" such as M2. On settlement day, when the Fed has to pay the primary dealers for its bond purchases, the Fed simply taps on a computer keyboard and credits (out of thin air) the primary dealers' reserve accounts at the Fed. These bank reserves are like an inert gas - they stay at the Fed and don't DO anything unless and until banks convert those reserves into customer loans- something banks didn't do all that much of compared to the quantity of bank reserves that was being created by QE. What's different this time around is that the Fed and the Treasury Department are working in tandem: The Treasury Department deficit spends (economic stimulus programs) and the Fed is in effect monetizing (buying) the debt the Treasury Department issues to finance said deficit spending. Also, this time around the Treasury Department has provided the "equity tranche" (first-loss piece) capital for new Fed programs (such as the Fed's Main Street Lending Program) in which the Fed is doing an "end-around" the commercial banks (who have little to no appetite to lend in this uncertain environment) and lending directly into the economy. This time around these coordinated efforts between the Fed and Treasury is resulting in the "printing" of "actual, usable" money, as is evidenced by a surge in M2 (the likes of which have never before been seen) and not just the printing of inert banks reserves. IMHO, this is the primary reason why gold has been rallying and (while normal market pullbacks and bouts of profit taking can be expected from time to time) will probably continue to rally as the U.S. government continues to try to plug the economic holes caused by the pandemic. I like to think of it this way: The "real / actual, / intrinsic" value of gold is a constant - it doesn't change. That said, nominal U.S. dollar price of gold moves higher as more U.S. dollars are created. XXX's and OOO's (virtual, of course) from your most humble of macro servants, Winston
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