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As predicted, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its latest “stimulus” plan this week … yet another round of money printing that central bank leaders hope will put a dent in our country’s chronically high unemployment rate and sluggish consumer economy.

Dubbed “QE3,” this third round of “quantitative easing” (that’s the fancy pants term for printing money out of thin air) is open-ended – unlike the previous two rounds of “stimulus.”

Beginning Friday, the Fed will start adding mortgage-backed securities to its asset ledger.  How much?  We’re looking at $23 billion worth in September and $40 billion a month beginning in October through … whenever.   The Fed also announced that it was indefinitely extending its controversial “Operation Twist” – which offsets longer term securities with the sale of short-term debt.

Taken together, we’re looking at roughly $85 billion a month in created assets …

The first round of quantitative easing, known as “QE1,” took place from November 25, 2008 through March 31, 2010.  Over that period, the Federal Reserve added $1.7 trillion to its balance sheet ($300 billion in Treasuries, $1.2 trillion in mortgage backed securities and $175 billion in agency bonds).  The second round, dubbed “QE2,” took place from November 3, 2010 through July 1, 2011.  Over that period, the Fed added $600 billion in Treasuries to its balance sheet.

“Operation Twist” began last September – and was extended in June of this year.

Obviously none of these programs have “stimulated” anything … in fact, they have only made it harder for Americans to make ends meet given that the value of their paychecks shrinks a little bit more with each fresh round of “money for nothing.”

“Rather than printing additional money out of thin air, lending more money that doesn’t exist and spending more money that we’ll never be able to pay back – all to incentivize dependency and penalize wealth – the federal government needs to stop, take a deep breath and honestly assess what it is trying to do here,” we wrote earlier this week in anticipation of this announcement.  “If the goal is to press the pedal to the metal on the road to serfdom … then by all means, carry on.  However if the goal is to actually “stimulate” our economy, then it’s time for government to at long last locate the brake pedal.”