Moment of Truth for the Federal Reserve
(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — For those who believe in the virtue of central bank economic stimulus, the moment of truth has finally arrived. Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen announced late last month that the Fed plans to start shrinking its balance sheet for the first time since it expanded from less than $900 billion in 2008 to an unprecedented $4.5 trillion today. The initial wave of selling will start gradually next month with only $6 billion of Treasuries and $4 billion of mortgages, but the compounding effect over the coming months may shake investors’ confidence.
This kind of unwind has never been attempted before in history, and even the experts are extremely polarized about what might happen next.
Not many people care to understand the potential implications of programs like quantitative easing, which has been implemented most aggressively by the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, and the Bank of Japan since the depths of the Great