Hyperinflation and the Fed

| Fri Sep. 9, 2011 1:23 PM EDT

The Fed has been pumping billions of dollars of reserves into the banking system over the past few years. This hasn't created any inflationary pressure yet, but monetary hawks worry that it will if the Fed waits too long to unwind its balance sheet. "You cannot afford to get behind the curve on reining in this extraordinary amount of liquidity because that will create an enormous inflation down the road," said Alan Greenspan a couple of years ago.

Karl Smith agrees that this is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. At the same time, it's also an issue that Ben Bernanke has the tools to address. "The Fed has complete power to slow the expansion of lending and hence the emergence of hyper-inflation," says Karl, "and it doesn’t have to remove its reserve injections to make it happen."

Click the link for the full explanation. It's a little long, but very friendly. Basically, the Fed's authority to pay interest on reserves is the hero of the story. But the bottom line is simple: hyperinflation just isn't something to worry about, no matter how many gold bugs tell you otherwise.

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