On Dec. 1, the outspoken Nayib Bukele responded to a Bloomberg report detailing Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell’s comments on inflation. Interestingly, El Salvador’s president asked the Fed chief to stop printing so much money out of thin air.
Inflation a Growing Concern
A fresh round of economic anguish has been ignited by last week’s discovery of the new highly-transmissible Covid-19 variant named Omicron by the WHO.
On Nov. 30, Bloomberg reported on the Fed chair’s comments before the Senate Banking Committee this week. Both Democrats and Republicans expressed concerns about high prices and inflation, it added. The central bank chair retired the word “transitory” to describe high inflation that remains a persistent issue in the U.S.
He added that the Fed should start to wrap up its bond purchasing scheme earlier than the scheduled mid-2022 target.
The word used was “tapering,” which refers to a gradual slowing down of purchases of securities and bonds. The central bank has been effectively printing money to buy bonds with the aim of pushing down interest rates which are currently at 0.25%.
Lower interest rates mean more borrowing, which stimulates the economy and spending. However, money printing increases inflation and gradually erodes the value of the currency over time, hence Bukele’s comments today.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Economic Research (FRED), the five-year breakeven inflation rate surged to over 3% in November – its highest level for more than two decades. As a result, the consumer price index for all urban consumers (Core CPI) – which measures the average cost of goods less food and energy – is also at an all-time high.
The figures are a clear indication that the situation is not “transitory” despite what the Fed claims. The latest Omicron strain could exacerbate America’s economic woes even further if it runs rampant and more lockdowns are enforced.
El Salvador Gains
Naturally, store of value assets that offer a hedge against the greenback and inflation are going strong. As reported by CryptoPotato, Nayib Bukele bought the dip adding 100 BTC to El Salvador’s treasury on Nov. 27.
It has worked out very well for the Latin American nation so far, despite a few protests. A tracking feed that measures the value of the $30 BTC airdrop Bukele gave citizens to spur adoption back in September is reporting a current profit of almost 15% in dollar terms.