Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bashing Bonnie Kavoussi: 11 Myths About the Fed, Refuted

By Tom Woods and Bob Murphy

The other day the Huffington Post ran an article by a Bonnie Kavoussi called “11 Lies About the Federal Reserve.” And you’ll never guess: these aren’t lies or myths spread in the financial press by Fed apologists. These are “lies” being told by you and me, opponents of the Fed. Bonnie Kavoussi calls us “Fed-haters.” So she, a Fed-lover, is at pains to correct these alleged misconceptions. She must stop us stupid ingrates from poisoning our countrymen’s minds against this benevolent array of experts innocently pursuing economic stability.

Here are the 11 so-called lies (she calls them “myths” in the actual rendering), and our responses.

HuffPo’s Myth #1: “The Fed actually prints money.”

She leads off with this? As if this is some big discovery that will refute the end-the-Fed people? When we talk about Fed money-printing, we are speaking in shorthand. We’re pretty certain someone like Ron Paul knows the Fed doesn’t actually print money. But he, along with pretty much the whole financial world, speaks of the Fed as printing money. You know why? Because it’s a teensy bit more convenient than saying, “We need the Fed to credit some banks’ accounts with increased balances, which it does by means of a computer, though if these balances are lent out and the borrowers prefer to use some of this lent money as cash, the Treasury will go ahead and print the cash.”

HuffPo’s Myth #2: “The Federal Reserve is spending money wastefully.”

You may think the Federal Reserve is throwing around money like crazy, just like the federal government. But you’re wrong! As Kavoussi explains, the Fed doesn’t spend money like the federal government does; it creates money! That’s just totally different! And so we read, “Both CNN anchor Erin Burnett and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan have compared the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing to government spending. But the Federal Reserve actually has created new money by expanding its balance sheet.”

She then points out that hey, the Fed earned a profit of $77.4 billion last year. We are supposed to be impressed. But if you can create money out of thin air and buy bonds with it, and then earn interest on those bonds, wouldn’t it be pretty hard to lose money? (But they just might, if interest rates should spike.)

HuffPo’s Myth #3: “The Fed is causing hyperinflation.”

Is it just us, or does Bonnie Kavoussi word things awkwardly? Do you know of anyone who says the Fed is causing – as in present progressive tense — hyperinflation?

Kavoussi then goes on to tell us that the CPI is showing low price inflation — again, as if she’s reporting some extraordinary revelation that will put all Fed critics to shame. There is no hyperinflation because the banks are holding the newly created money as excess reserves with the Fed. If the banks begin lending and the money multiplier is enacted, an inflationary spiral could easily occur — trillions of dollars of high-powered money would expand via the fractional-reserve banking system into tens of trillions of dollars. The only way for the government to stay ahead of the curve would be for the Fed to keep creating boatloads of new money — which is how hyperinflation happens, after all.  If that were to happen, we rather doubt Kavoussi would want to come tell us how the CPI is doing.

Read the rest here.


  1. Have you seen photos of Bonnie Kavoussi? She looks like a recent college grad with a deep need to prove her liberal credentials.

    Oh, and she majored in history and econ at Harvard.


  2. I contacted Bonnie after this POS article came out, and she replied to my (admittedly) crude email. She wanted to ask how the Federal Reserve had impacted my life. As it became more obvious that I A)knew more than she, and B) my knowledge of Austrian Econ allowed me to profit from the busting housing bubble and rise in gold prices she decided she didn't want to interview me after all.

    I sent the email to you, with all of my correspondence with her, and you can feel free to publish it.

    She doesn't want people who saw what was coming, only people who suffered.

  3. Has she responded to this complete smack down?