Druckenmiller: Fed Is Making Rich Richer

Wednesday, 25 Sep 2013 08:20 AM

By Michelle Smith

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Rich people should not be upset the Federal Reserve didn't taper its quantitative easing (QE) last week. That means the Fed will shift more money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy, says Stanley Druckenmiller, founder of Duquesne Capital.

Many claimed to be disappointed when the Fed announced it would not taper its $85-billion per month bond-buying programs. But Druckenmiller told CNBC the news "is fantastic for every rich person."

Part of the Fed's QE strategy is to drive money out of U.S. bonds. Its approach of purchasing massive quantities of Treasurys drives down interest rates, making the debt an unattractive investment option for yield seekers. They, in turn, put their money into riskier assets.

Editor’s Note:
Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See If You Qualify)

"Who owns assets — the rich, the billionaires. You think Warren Buffett hates this stuff? You think I hate this stuff? I had a very good day yesterday," Druckenmiller told CNBC after the Fed decision.

"This is the biggest redistribution of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich ever" he said.

Critics have long pointed out that inflating the stock market does little for the average American.

The top 10 percent of Americans in terms of wealth own more than 80 percent of stocks and over half of all individual financial assets in the United States, according to data from the Federal Reserve and New York University economics professor Edward Wolff, CNBC reported.

Meanwhile, as financial assets have soared, the interest on savings — a traditional source of yield for the average household — has dried up.

Call it "Operation Reverse Robin Hood" said the New York Post, noting that the Fed's "$3 trillion covert op" allows it rob the poor and middle class while underwriting the wealthy, big banks and big business.

Putting it into perspective, the Post said an individual with $1,000 in a JP Morgan or Citibank savings account four years ago would have $1,010 as of March 2013. If bank fees were added into the equation, the individual would likely be in the red, with a balance closer to $950. Yet, banks are posting record profits.

Low interest rates were also supposed to help Americans by making it cheaper to borrow. This was supposed to drive demand for housing and boost home values, which the Fed believes helps make people feel richer.

This plan has largely backfired as the Fed had no means to make credit more available and banks proved to be tight-fisted with loans.

As QE boosted wealth, spending was supposed to improve, driving demand in a broad range of categories thereby creating jobs.

According to Druckenmiller, the track record of "trickle-down economics" doesn't warrant optimism.

"I mean, maybe this trickle-down monetary policy that gives money to billionaires and hopefully we go spend it is going to work. But it hasn't worked for five years," he argued.

Editor’s Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See If You Qualify)

Related Stories:

Former FDIC Chief William Isaac to Moneynews: Fed's QE Not Working, Causing More Confusion

Dallas Fed Chief: QE Has Only Made 'Rich People Richer

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