oh this should work out well

Fed Slashes U.S. Interest Rate To Basically Zero

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$2 million dollars to start a handjob company behind the car wash!Wasn’t the Fed supposed to cut rates in half today, from 1 percent to 0.5 percent? Well, that wasn’t good enough, for this failed economy and economic system. So now it’s “near zero,” which means “zero.” Just like Japan tried for years and years, to no effect! The Federal Reserve Bank is now out of “traditional ammunition,” according to almost-president Barack Obama, and your government is now printing money at an insane pace, and then banks are taking this money and immediately buying U.S. Treasury bonds, because nothing else is safe, and that is pretty much the end of this particular feedback loop.

Here’s something kind of funny: This current economic collapse can be largely traced back to the 2003-2004 1% Fed Rate era that fueled the housing boom by making absurdly inflated real estate prices “affordable” because these interest rates — both fixed and the evil adjustable ones — hadn’t been so low in half a century.

While it was sloppy/greedy “stated income” no-doc teaser-rate reverse-equity 105% loans that enabled Juan Drywallhanger and his old lady, Amber Asstattoo, to “buy” a 2,800-square-foot stucco monstrosity on a 3,000-square-foot lot in the Adobe Falls development behind the Sunburst Towne Center’s (now closed) Bennigan’s and Linens ‘n Things in the first place, it was the artificially cheap borrowing costs that made the option-ARM introductory payments on a $579,000 “Tuscan inspired” vulgarity briefly plausible for people making $40,000 per year and already buried in credit-card and SUV debt.

So, now that grand era can return again! Except for the loan part, as banks are not using any of this bailout money for, uh, lending.

Fed Cuts Benchmark Rate to Near Zero [NYT]
Fed Cuts Rate to Zero-0.25%, Will Use All Tools (Update1) [Bloomberg]

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne


Hey there, Wonkeputians! Shypixel here to remind you to remember our Commenting Rules For Radicals, Enjoy!

  • ManchuCandidate

    Or jobs to give one income to payback the loan.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    But without that bad loan how else would I have been able to buy my lifetime supply of Cosby puddin’?

  • heroinmule

    Yeah, I was an Economics major for like a day, and even I know that whole ZIRP nonsense was bunk. We must truly be fucked.

  • facehead

    They should cut the rate to negative 1 percent.

  • Dramatist

    “Tuscan-inspired” is a good descriptor for this economy, as well as for the massive deuce I just dropped after lunch.

  • Borat

    So are you saying the Fed is shooting ‘blanks’?

  • choinski

    Weimar Republic anyone? Let’s all sit on a chair backwards in our tuxedo tops and Fishnet stockings while singing torch songs.

  • Dreadful Gate

    They haven’t got the message up here in Canada City yet. I got a solicitation in the mail the other day offering me $12,000 credit at a point over prime, so I took it. There’s lots of good Afghani hash to be bought up hgere, and I needed some scratch to buy it with. You know what Fat Freddie says:

    “Weed will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no weed”

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …does this mean I can afford to stop eating dog food now?

  • InsidiousTuna

    But what does Campbell Brown have to say about these developments?

  • Monsieur Grumpe

    I had a “Tuscan inspired” vulgarity at Olive Gardens… not good.

  • AngryBlakGuy

    …fukk, since nothing they do works they might as well have fun with the interest rates! Raise it to like 95%!!!

  • Dreadful Gate

    [re=200352]choinski[/re]: If this is the Weimar Republic, does that mean hash is going to cost like 3 trillion dollars a gram soon? Then my investment startegy is golden!

  • Larry Fine

    That means more dollars to stuff in g-strings whens I goes out drinkin.

  • NoWireHangers

    Was it really ideal for the Fed to blow it’s load so soon into this thing? On Sunday 60 Minutes said they expect the second wave of shit-hitting-the-fan to come in 2009/2010. What’ll we have left to cut then except our wrists?

  • Dramatist

    [re=200352]choinski[/re]: Guess this means that Charlie Crist will be our new gay Hitler in 2012.

  • Gleep!

    [re=200352]choinski[/re]: Only if it is our fair Cambell wearing said fishnets and tuxedo top…

  • kudzu

    [re=200344]heroinmule[/re]: We are fucked. The real problem is uncertainty. Nobody knows how fucked up everybody else is. Nobody knows who owes what and, worse, how much what own is worth–now that, my friend, is royally fucked up. Unlike Communism, where things have an absolute value (usually designated by a clueless bureaucrat) and where everything happens in the present, our system is based on futures for everything, including an asset’s value. That requires a level of trust. Uncertainty dissolves trust and, without trust, there are no futures and without futures… well, you get the picture.

  • 4tehlulz

    Wall Street, of course, loved it, ignoring the fact that this almost every economist’s worst nightmare.

    Tomorrow, when they realize this, the Dow will lose 100,000,000 points, which will be blamed on black people owning property by Jim Kramer.

  • TaxWallStreet

    Yeah, we the ignorant masses were happy sheep to be merely sheared, but the stupidity and destructive nature of all this is hard to beleive.

    the rich just wanted to make money NOW, and could not just stand around and live off interest. I mean, didn’t they see this collapse coming? or do they just think swanky depression era rich peoples were cooler and they feel they need poor white people so it will not be so hard to get good help?

  • TGY

    iz in ur helicptors, thowin out ur free munnies!

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    I learned far too much about real stuff in this post. Shame on you, Ken.

  • actor212

    Amber Asstattoo

    I dated her cousin, Lotta Trampstamps.

  • MadMangosteen

    look on the bright side, people: in Germany, the countryside is being overrun by wild boars.

    I give us at least six months to a year before we have to fight for our lives against ravenous swine in a literal, rather than figurative, sense.

  • choinski

    Not to worry, Ken. Once the economy recovers Bennigans and Linen N’ Things can re-open in all of those “Tuscan inspired” vulgarities. Olive Garden did!

  • actor212

    When the Fed dropped interest rates to 1% in 2003 at the height of the ARM scramble, I called it the “Buffalo Chicken Loan Rate”: lots of people were going to bite, but when it came out the other end, man, there was going to be pain!

  • 4tehlulz

    [re=200376]Naked Bunny with a Whip[/re]: There’s nothing wrong with a real stuff post, as long teh buttsecks is worked in somewhere.

  • qwerty42

    [re=200372]TaxWallStreet[/re]: I expect hollywood to bring us another Nick and Nora Charleston. When the drug violence spreads up here from Mexico, perhaps the narcotraficantes will switch from MAC-10’s to Thompson .45’s so we can relive the exciting years of prohibition just as in the old days. Maybe even a new Untouchables. good times.

  • 4tehlulz

    [re=200381]MadMangosteen[/re]: The idea of Germany being overrun by rampaging pork product disturbs me somehow.

  • Warren Terror

    Soylent Green, coming to a grocercy near you.

  • p-Sludge

    Pay no attention to the man in the booth. That is not a real email address. Testing, 1234.

  • CuntryFirst

    [re=200372]TaxWallStreet[/re]: For the rich, it’s not whether the collapse would come, but when. It’s like the withdrawal method, it’s effective as long as you pull out at the right time.

  • Doglessliberal

    [re=200381]MadMangosteen[/re]: ours is just being overrun by wild boors. NoVa is full of them, driving insanely, berating clerks, basically being the center of the Universe. I’d rather have boars.

  • Naked Bunny with a Whip

    @4tehlulz: I was confused and afraid by smartness. I sowwiez.

  • shortsshortsshorts

    Originally read as “Tucson Inpired,” immediately followed with confusion, then anger, then denial, then acceptance, and finally, reread.

  • http://joshreads.com Josh Fruhlinger

    [re=200349]facehead[/re]: You laugh, but I’m pretty sure Japan actually did that in the ’90s — as in, your savings account actually shrunk over time instead of growing — in a desperate attempt to get the thrifty Japanese to “stimulate the economy” by buying crap they didn’t want or need.

  • Hooray For Anything

    This is a good plan because it’ll inspire more people to give their money to financial advisers who can then defraud them.

  • problemwithcaring

    The Banks’s foreclosed on Juan Drywallhanger in 2007. Wait ’til the Joel OptionArmer and his wife Lisa Lipo run out of credit cards to pay their bills…you know, when things gets bad for the people who are supposed to live good.

  • DangerousLiberal

    [re=200352]choinski[/re]: The difference–in Weimar, there was hyperinflation. Here, in Amerika, it’s deflation that has the econominds turning coal into diamonds in their rapidly clinching rectums, which sucks for them because, with deflation, diamonds are worth $10 now.

  • actor212

    [re=200381]MadMangosteen[/re]: At least you can kill and eat a boar. Humans give me gas.

  • ToeCramps

    These fucking guys are so funny! Just when absolutely no one has any money, can’t borrow any money, can not get a job to make any money – these SOBs want to cut the interest rate to zero? WTF is that suppose to do for a bunch of broke muthafukas?!!!?

  • sarahconnor

    “The Fed will employ all available tools”


  • grevillea

    [re=200381]MadMangosteen[/re]: If we were properly Tuscan-inspired, we’d all just be stone-cold crankin’ out wild boar sausages in the backyard. Nom nom nom!

  • tocute2btrue

    Congress to increase its Salary $937,364,874,655,273,475,452,673,837,624,426,838,364,333,000 in the comming Months.

  • slavojzizek

    You can’t compare the present-day US to Japan in the nineties. Japan was not the largest debtor in the world. Japan had (still has) lots of industry. Whatever worked/didn’t work to produce ten or fifteen years of stagnation in Japan will probably be less effective in our case.

  • stopmebeforeitypeagain

    I better post something so I can move the comment box up and look at Campbell Brown again.

    “Feedback loop” hell, what we’ve got now with this square-root-of-negative-zero prime rate is the Great Monetary Circle Jerk of 2008.

    What I want to know is, will the circle jerk be unbroken?

    [Time for esoteric joke about Hopey the Plumber Unblocking the Liquidity Trap.]

  • Aurelio

    Marx said that the traditional solution to the problem of the overproduction of capital (which is what we have) is the violent destruction of capital–somebody else’s capital. That means a war. Which is what got us out of the Great Depression. But it can’t be the war in Afghanistan.

    We have to attack a country or continent that has a lot of capital, and destroy it. The EU, for example. Can we get everyone pissed off at them? Maybe Campbell Brown could think of something. Or scare them to death with her huge black presence.

  • DangerousLiberal

    Wow. As bad as the news gets, Campbell Brown keeps that same lovely, toothy style. I went to H.S. with a girl like that, who reacted the same way to her grades.

  • villageatrois

    [re=200356]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: Yup. Now we make the switch to Dogfood Helper.

  • villageatrois

    Fergot to menshun: you can buy Dogfood Helper when you cash out yer 401 KY Plan.

  • hobospacejungle

    [re=200411]DangerousLiberal[/re]: Indeed, the problem here is deflation. The solution is inflation, to encourage everyone who is saving their money now to spend it before it becomes worth less, or worthless. Unfortunately, in the past, inflation was often a by-product of an overheating economy. Ours is cold to the touch. The best we can hope for is demand-pull inflation from a huge increase in government spending, a la Krugman via Keynes.

    On the other hand, deflation decreases our real amount of debt to our future Chinese overlords.

    No I am not an economist, nor do I understand my first paragraph. But I am hopeful, because Hopey will save us all. SAVE US ALL YOU HEAR?

    Stop staring at me Campbell. See? Both hands free.

  • bopumofu

    Actually right now (geddit?)it’s offficially more like -2.5, although in 6 months it will be offficially retroactively liik 0%.

  • villageatrois

    Hell ya! Loan me some money at no interest! I promise to become a too-big-to-fail bank, first thing tomorrow! Yew betcha! I swear I will repay every single effin’ penny, less my salary, and my hot-as-hell secretary’s salary. And the phone bill, hot tub maintenance, and the PO Box. But — after that, I will repay ALL the rest.

  • wickedlittledoll

    I don’t know about you, but Paulson’s prediction makes me feel very good about our economic prospects

  • lumpenprole

    The army’s not having a hard time finding recruits these days. Bush fuckup #223,254 – blowing all that good terror hysteria on nonexistent WMDs, attacks that never happened and making air travel worse than it already was. Now they’ll have to invent some totally new threat that hates our freedom. Eurohorseman of the commie apocalypse? Chinamen Hitler armies? I think the Mexican Horde is our best bet. We won’t have to go very far and Lou Dobbs’ projected head will lead us into battle.

  • snideinplainsight

    Doodz, I got a solution – I just loan the moneys to myselfs now. I got a great rate that way – way better than that goober down at the fed is showing. Pshaw –

  • Hot_Carl

    Saaaaaaaaaaaaaavvvvveeeeeddddd byyyyyy zeeeeeeeeerrrrooooo….

  • Toomush Infermashun

    I’m with facehead on this one: a Fed rate of negative 1% would encourage the banks to reborrow money to the government thus setting off the Reduncancy Syndrome and establishing the so-far elusive Perpetual Economic Motion (PEM) the world covets…

  • sux2bu

    The Fed can afford to lend at 0%, because they just conjured the money out of thin air!

  • dijetlo

    Yes, but how will this impact the international truck nutz cartel and the local truck nutz retailing pipeline? Is free money going to enhance or degrade the general availability of truck nutz to deserving American families.
    It’s all very well to jump the shark but not while one garfels the Narthog, let’s try to keep our eye on the ball here people.