Ben Bernanke claims there is “no net impact” to U.S. taxpayers involved in bailing out the TBTF banks, state unemployment funds, car companies, insurance companies, GSEs; need I continue? You know the list by now.
The impact in question comes from the size of the Fed’s swollen balance sheet, surely you are familiar with the number by now. I don’t have to remind you little beancounters that the Fed writes its own accounting manual, so take that “balance sheet” for what it is worth.
“These programs, which imposed no cost on the taxpayer, were a critical part of the government’s efforts to stabilize the financial system and restart the flow of credit,” said Bernanke in prepared remarks to the House Financial Services Committee. Not even a snow day could keep him from this one.
Have you ever seen a “company” drastically reduce the size of its balance sheet? Me neither. Next.
The indirect “net impact” of all of this, of course, is a drag on unemployment. While on a federal level, inflation will have to run hot enough to cover a growing deficit, bankrupt municipalities and states are bleeding businesses and residents dry. So who will be financing the Fed’s unloading of assets? It is unlikely to be the extinct “middle class”.
As many of you already know, CPA Trendlines tracks accounting unemployment numbers regularly. I know some of you are prone to stick to what we did last year but last year didn’t work and we’re about due for some sort of revolt. The BLS revisions represent a significant material deficiency in what we’re being told versus what is actually happening; you kids wouldn’t eat up the layoff posts if it didn’t exist.
So there is Bernanke’s net impact. Need I continue?
Unemployment taxes are up for those who can still afford a workforce. Encouraging.
Though not measurable in the same way as tax increases and wild inflation, the regulatory impact is also one worth recognizing. How many bad rules will result? I don’t do the math part, sorry. Let’s just sit around and let the rest of the world dictate how we can rebuild the integrity of our financial statements (?)
I’m not sure what “net impact” meant in economics class to our esteemed Fed Chairman but where I come from, bailout measures do appear to have a net impact on taxpayers, whether or not it’s actually called tax. I’m sure some tax accountants can agree with me on that?