Bernanke is hell bent on producing price inflation. He has succeeded, just not where he wants most. What Bernanke desperately wants is for housing prices to rise because that more than anything will help the banks and all the foreclosed properties they are sitting on.
The Bernanke Fed has certainly assisted the stock market, as intended, but that is not doing the average Joe much good in the face of soaring oil prices, soaring food prices, falling home prices, and zero% interest on savings.
Oil Shock Coming
As a direct consequence of Fed policy, in conjunction with an inane US and European oil embargo on Iran, Europe (already in the midst of what is going to be a long and deep recession) will be hit with an oil shock on top of it.
Record Price of Oil in British Pounds
On Wednesday the Financial Times reported Record sterling oil price sparks fears
Oil prices have soared to a record high in sterling terms and are approaching euro highs, raising fears that European countries struggling with heavy debts will face further barriers to economic recovery.
“This is a regional oil shock,” said Amrita Sen, commodities analyst at Barclays Capital in London.
Brent rallied to £78.48 a barrel, passing the previous all-time high of £77.71 a barrel set in April last year at the peak of the Libyan civil war supply disruption. In euro terms, the oil benchmark reached a three-year high of €92.70 a barrel, a fraction below the peak of €93.50 a barrel set in July 2008.
It took precisely one more day for the Financial Times to report Euro denominated oil hits record
Oil prices soared to a record high in euro terms, surpassing the peak touched in the 2008 price spike and posing a fresh problem for eurozone economies already struggling under the weight of the region’s debt crisis.
The euro-denominated price of Brent crude, the global benchmark North Sea crude, rose to a peak of €93.63 a barrel on Thursday, surpassing the previous high hit on July 3, 2008. The new euro record comes just a day after Brent hit a record in sterling terms.
The Hill reports Dem leader Pelosi blames Wall Street for spike in gas prices
Oil speculators, not a lack of domestic drilling, are to blame for the nation's rising gas prices, the top House Democrat argued Wednesday.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said unscrupulous Wall Street investors have artificially inflated prices at the pump, which are climbing toward $4 per gallon.
The California Democrat called on Congress to take "strong action" to rein in the allegedly excessive speculation, and accused Republicans of protecting Wall Street profits at the expense of consumers.
"Wall Street profiteering, not oil shortages, is the cause of the price spike," Pelosi said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Republicans have chosen to protect the interests of Wall Street speculators and oil companies instead of the interests of working Americans by obstructing the agencies with the responsibility of enforcing consumer protection laws."
No one gives a rat's ass if speculators drive up the price of houses or the stock market to absurd heights. Indeed, Congress goes out of its way to actively promote rising home prices.
The Greenspan and Bernanke Fed did the same. Now Bernanke openly takes credit for the rising stock market and encouraging speculation.
And where the hell is the blame for this absolutely inane embargo on Iran?
No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program
As a matter of record, Israeli intelligence concluded in January of this year, there is No Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program!
As Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Israel Thursday, the left-leaning Haaretz newspaper dropped its own atomic bombshell.
Israeli intelligence agencies have worked up an intelligence assessment that Iran has not yet decided whether to begin a military program to construct a nuclear warhead. Put in other words, Mossad believes that there is no current Iranian nuclear weapons program. Haaretz writes:
“The intelligence assessment Israeli officials will present later this week to Dempsey indicates that Iran has not yet decided whether to make a nuclear bomb. The Israeli view is that while Iran continues to improve its nuclear capabilities, it has not yet decided whether to translate these capabilities into a nuclear weapon – or, more specifically, a nuclear warhead mounted atop a missile. Nor is it clear when Iran might make such a decision.”
This is the same conclusion to which the 16 US intelligence agencies have come in 2007 and 2010. It is also consistent with what the Iranian government itself says, which is that the Iranian nuclear enrichment program is a civilian one and that Iran is not trying to construct a nuclear weapon. Likewise, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which continues to inspect Iranian nuclear facilities, has repeatedly and consistently stated that no nuclear material has been diverted from the civilian program.
Haaretz says that Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak gave an interview with the Army radio, in which he come to another surprising conclusion. Asked if Israel plans a military strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities in Natanz near Isfahan, Barak replied: “We haven’t made any decision to do this . . . This entire thing is very far off.”
Speculators? Such as the Federal Reserve and other central banks who have pumped $2 trillion of "liquidity" into the capital markets in the past 3 months just so Italian BTPs don't implode to fair value and so Europeans can continue living in a socialist "paradise" even as the bankers steal their gold?
Or is it the same congressional speculators who until recently had every right to front run the public on advance knowledge that the SPR would be tapped due to Democrat insistence to sacrifice America's last energy backstop only to win the election?
Whatever the reason for the gas surge, with these idiots in charge, one thing is certain - the situation is about to get far, far worse.
The idiocy of this government and central bank created mess is staggering. The Fed is actively encouraging speculators and the Obama government is angling for another Mideast war over weapons of mass destruction that once again do not even exist.
Instead of placing the blame on the Fed and on the warmongers, Pelosi is enough of an outright idiot to demand Congress do something to rein in speculators.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock