Bernanke’s Latest: LSAP Replaces QE

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Bernanke’s latest speech is here. He has banished the term “QE” from the FED’s vocabulary. QE, you recall, was the euphemism for heavy FED buying of securities that inflated high-powered money (raised bank reserves). The FED creates its thin-air money by such buying, such inflation of its bond holdings, or such QE. The only place in his article that QE appears is in the titles to some papers that he references. Bernanke banished the term QE because it had gotten a negative connotation. Also, he now buys time while newbies and oldbies figure out that LSAP is the same as QE.

He has replaced QE with this: LSAP. I’ve seen that before in some papers written by FED-symps. They argued that QE intends to increase the monetary base, but LSAPs get that as a side effect. Their intent is to bring down long-term interests rates. These people are sophists. Sophistry is presenting plausible but misleading arguments. Buying of securities is buying, no matter what the intent is.

LSAP = large scale asset purchases. It’s the same old thing as QE. The FED buys securities, namely, bonds (until one day it decides to buy stocks or real estate or something else.) The FED’s tools are limited, its main tool is that it can buy and sell securities and pay for them with thin air money (electronic digits credited to the seller’s account and payable in dollars, which are legal tender by law). LSAP = QE. Gold rose when QE was announced. Gold rose when LSAP became more probable a la Bernanke’s speech. LSAP = QE = inflation of the monetary base.

5:10 pm on September 1, 2012