The Federal Reserve Board of Governors today released minutes from its January meeting, at which it apparently discussed the fact that it might not be able to continue its current pace of bond market manipulation. In case you’ve forgotten…the Fed is buying up hundreds of billions of dollars of public and private bonds in order to artificially hold interest rates low. It pays for this by flooding bank vaults with “reserves” — in the hope that banks will leverage upon these new reserves and make loans to unqualified borrowers like they did in the good old days. Rather than restore the economy to robust and stable growth, the Fed hopes to restore the economy to the glory days of late 2006. And we all know how that worked out.

So today the Fed disclosed that it might not be able to continue this effort at its current pace. This is consistent with our long-held First Law of Economics: If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.

On this threat, the stock market promptly sold off by one percent or so. It’s as if the Tour de France favorites suddenly learned in the months before the race that the sport’s governing body intended to actually crack down on doping. The race would be thrown into turmoil, and race speeds would surely be slower. The stock market is currently fueled by the financial equivalent of blood doping. By pushing interest rates to near zero, the Fed has left investors little choice than to buy stocks in the hope of earning a positive rate of return after paying taxes and inflation.

Yes, we acknowledge that the Fed is mighty and powerful and capable of continuing its shenanigans longer than one might think. But the day of reckoning eventually arrives, and the fraud is exposed. Investors piling into the stock market now will eventually have to face the truth. Ask Lance Armstrong how that feels.