By Jeff Cox
The Federal Reserve, with its bargain-basement interest rates and money printer always on standby, is manipulating financial markets and crushing capitalism, bond king Bill Gross said in his latest broadside against the U.S. central bank.
In a letter to clients, Gross addresses Fed Chair Janet Yellen directly, saying the policies she has pushed "have deferred long-term pain for the benefit of short-term gain."
The criticisms come as the Fed is weighing whether to raise interest rates after years of keeping them anchored in efforts to stimulate the economy and create inflation. Instead, Gross said, the Fed has merely inflated asset prices while actually harming the economy.
Yellen and other global central bankers "all have mastered the art of market manipulation and no — that's not an unkind accusation — it's one in fact that Ms. Yellen and other central bankers would plead guilty to over a cocktail at Jackson Hole or any other get together of PhD economists who have lost their way," Gross wrote.
Directing his comments to Yellen specifically, he said, "Capitalism, almost commonsensically, cannot function well at the zero bound or with a minus sign as a yield. $11 trillion of negative yielding bonds are not assets — they are liabilities. Factor that, Ms. Yellen into your asset price objective."