Jerome Powell Explains How the Fed Prints Money, Bitcoin Goes Above $9900

Siamak Masnavi

Yesterday (May 17), American TV network CBS aired an episode of its highly popular weekly news program "60 Minutes" that featured an interview correspondent Scott Pelley had done with the Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday (May 13). What Powell said during that interview could have helped the price of Bitcoin go above the $9,900 level earlier today.

When Pelley asked Powell what kind of "economic reality" people in the U.S. "need to be prepared for", Powell replied:

"Well, I would take a more optimistic cut at that, if I could, and that is: this is a time of great suffering and difficulty.

"And it's come on us so quickly and with such force, that you really can't put into words the pain people are feeling and the uncertainty they're realizing. And it's going to take a while for us to get back.

"But I would just say this. In the long run, and even in the medium run, you wouldn't want to bet against the American economy. This economy will recover... 

"It may take a while... It could stretch through the end of next year. We really don't know. We hope that it will be shorter than that, but no one really knows."

As for how much the U.S. GDP could decrease in Q2 2020, Powell said that the percentage decline "could easily be in the twenties or thirties." However, Powell does "expect that there'll be growth in the second half [of the year]."

Perhaps, the most interesting part of the conversation -- as far as those people who are interested in Bitcoin as an inflation hedge is concerned -- was the part where Pelly asked Powell if it was correct to say that the Fed "simply flooded the system with money."

Powell said:

"Yes. We did. That's another way to think about it. We did."

Pelley then asked where this money come from and if the Fed had just printed it?

Powell answered:

"We print it digitally. So as a central bank, we have the ability to create money digitally. And we do that by buying Treasury Bills or bonds for other government guaranteed securities. And that actually increases the money supply.

"We also print actual currency and we distribute that through the Federal Reserve banks."

According to data from CryptoCompare, shortly before this episode of 60 Minutes aired, Bitcoin was trading around $9,637, but within less than two hours after this episode ended, Bitcoin was trading at $9,925.

By around 03:15 UTC today (May 18), Arthur Hayes, Co-Founder and CEO of crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX was delightedly tweeting that the price for the September 2020 BTC futures contract had gone above $10K:

One person who is not impressed with what the Fed is doing is Robert Kiyosaki, best known as the author of the "Rich Dad Poor Dad' series of personal finance books, who predicted on Saturday (May 16) that the price of Bitcoin would reach $75,000 within the next three years:

Anthony Pompliano (aka "Pomp"), Co-Founder and Partner at crypto-focused investment firm Morgan Creek Digital, is even more bullish when it comes to predicting where the price of Bitcoin is going in the medium term.

Pomp said during an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday (May 13) that he expected Bitcoin's price to reach $100,000 by December 2021.

Earlier today, popular crypto analyst Josh Rager had this to say about Bitcoin's latest price action and the Fed's continued money printing:

And here is how another popular crypto analyst expressed the current market sentiment and how smart crypto traders are playing the market: