The president of El Salvador has been busy of late, most recently trolling the Federal Reserve after its Chair, Jerome Powell, admitted to Congress that it was time to retire the ‘transitory’ label when discussing US inflation.
The testimony prompted El Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele to take to Twitter this Tuesday as he questioned why the Fed can’t seem to kick its quantitative easing habit. Bukele has increasingly played a role as one of crypto Twitters’ most prominent provocateurs following the country’s adoption of bitcoin as legal tender.
“Can you guys just stop printing more money? You’re just going to make things worse. Really. It’s a no brainer,” said Bukele.
Jerome Powell’s concession came in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on November 30, after Senator Pat Toomey asked, “How long does inflation have to run above your target before the Fed decides that maybe it’s not so transitory?”
The pointed question left Powell with little room for maneuver.
“It’s probably time to retire that word and explain more clearly what we mean,” replied Powell as he sought to prevaricate, explaining that inflation will not in fact be ‘short-lived’ as most people might understand the word. Instead, higher inflation would leave no ‘permanent mark’, even while it persists in the long term.
The exercise in semantics revealed that when the Fed had previously described inflation as transitory it was describing a time period precisely shorter than forever. There is no indication that the Fed intended to mislead, but confusion was achieved regardless.
El Salvador’s bitcoin stash grows
While Nayib Bukele was trolling the Fed this week, the President was taking advantage of the bitcoin dip just the week before.
“El Salvador just bought the dip,” said Bukele on November 26. “100 extra coins acquired with a discount.”
The latest purchase brings the current total of bitcoin in El Salvador’s possession to 1,220. At current prices the value of that bitcoin sits at $71.5 million, but with inflation apparently set to continue devaluing the dollar against BTC in the longer term, the US may need to strap itself in for much more of El Presidente’s snark.
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