Economist and noted talking head Peter Schiff took aim again at the U.S. central bank after comments by Minnesota Fed President Neel Kashkari, who suggested recently that the Fed could address wealth inequality, which is ironic because it created the problem in the first place.
“I really thought that was rich because one of the reasons we have a widening gap of wealth inequality is because of the Fed and because of the policies that Neel Kashkari advocates,” Schiff said on his latest podcast.
It has done so by debasing the dollar, creating a transfer of wealth from savers to debtors, and by debtors he means investors, particularly rich investors.
“When you buy an asset and you incur debt, inflation makes you rich because it wipes out the value of the money you borrowed and now you’re left with the real asset that you purchased,” Schiff explained. “But who gets wiped out? The savers. Who are the savers? The average guy who’s got a 401(k) or a pension. He’s got an annuity. He’s got cash value in life insurance. He’s got bonds. He’s got some savings — he’s getting wiped out.
“And so the people who levered up to buy assets, which are generally richer people, have gotten richer. And the people who haven’t done that, who aren’t as sophisticated, don’t have the income or the assets to do that, you know, they’re just trying to save their money. Well, they’re getting eviscerated.”
Fed policy also transfers wealth from the working class to traders because Fed policy encourages consumers to spend credit, flooding the market with easy money.
“I think it’s really ridiculous for the Fed — I mean, this is about the pot calling the kettle black — the Fed saying they’re going to do something about income inequality when they’re the reasons that we have more income inequality than would normally be the case,” Schiff said.
Schiff also commented on the state of the market and how far too many people — the dumb money — are invested and they’re going to get taken advantage of by the sharks.
“If they were smart, they wouldn’t be in the stock market,” he said. “Or if they’re in it, they’re simply in it as a momentum trader that say, ‘Look, I know this is BS, but hey, they’re a bunch of idiots buying stocks, so I’m going to buy stocks now so I can sell to these idiots, and I’m going to get out the door before they realize the market has turned.'”
Editor’s note: Schiff makes a good point about how the Fed continuously screws savers, as former Fed Chair Janet Yellen also admitted recently. Is it ridiculous to think the Fed can now address income inequality? Share your thoughts below.