Friday, October 09, 2009

If you repeat a lie often enough...

Chris Martenson has written a good piece about whether we're experiencing deflation or inflation right now. His theory is an interesting one, and one I believe is true. He writes,

"Suppose, for the sake of argument, that there is a world in which banks are allowed by their regulators to pretend their default losses simply do not exist. And, even more outlandishly, some of these banks are allowed to sell heavily damaged loans to their central bank at nearly their full original price.

What does "deflation" mean in such a world? Not much, as it turns out. At least from a monetary perspective, because money is not being destroyed at nearly the rate that would be expected or predicted by the size and rate of the defaults.

This is the world in which we currently live. Trillions in probable and provable losses quietly exist, out of sight, on the balance sheets of the Federal Reserve and other financial institutions. If they ever come out of hiding and onto the books, I think the deflationists will be proven correct beyond all doubt.

But let me ask this: What prevents the authorities from simply storing them out of sight forever? Or at least long enough to allow the wave of liquidity to work its inevitable magic? So far, much to my great surprise, they've managed to do exactly that, with hardly a squeak from the mainstream press (although the blogsphere is on the job, as usual). I am now wondering if they cannot keep this up indefinitely."

In essence, Martenson is saying that the Fed is allowing the banks to repeat a lie over and over. In the process, they're hoping that we all believe it to be true, and ignore the fact that the banks are all zombies. At some point though, the market will wake up to this reality and things will come crumbling down. It is just a matter of time.

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