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Thursday, August 4, 2011

8/4/2011 - Macro Commentary: The Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don’t Global Economy

Macro Commentary: The Damned If We Do, Damned If We Don’t Global Economy

Ben Bernanke Ben Bernanke Bond Brazil Central Banks China ETC Germany Global Economy Great Depression Gross Domestic Product Japan Real estate Ron PaulSwitzerland
QE2 is dead. Long live QE3! Markets rebounded yesterday when Ben Bernanke’s BFF at the WSJ Jon Hilsenrath published an article that quoted senior officials at the Fed as saying that they would give “very serious consideration” to a new round of bond purchases, aka QE3. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I published a note back on February 2nd called Go All In On Bernanke’s Weak QE3 Hand where I said, “The problem the Fed and Chairman Bernanke now face is that the so-called wealth effect of the rising stock market has been dependent on the existence of QE2 and removing that punch bowl could cause the party to end and reverse the gains, both economic and market, that we have seen in the last 5 months.” At the time, you’ll recall, the market was solidly convinced that QE2 would be the last and final round of QE from the Fed. I disagreed. Unfortunately, it’s starting to look like I was right. However, as a long-time buyer of gold and silver, I have to admit that these never ending rounds QE are a gift from the (finance) Gods. But why should the market get excited about a policy that’s essentially failed, twice, to do anything except temporarily juice stocks higher? I think it’s very simple, the Fed cannot afford to be seen as helpless, they must do something, anything. Otherwise, why have them as Ron Paul might ask? And besides, at this point in the game, what else can they do? Lower rates? Nope, zero-bound already. Lower reserve requirements? Not likely, our TBTF banks are already scraping by with mark-to-model accounting on real estate assets that are currently worth less than they were in 2008 yet still somehow are marked at or close to par. Lowering reserve requirements would likely cause the banking panic currently growing in Europe to quickly jump the pond and land on our shores. Which leaves us with QE3/asset purchases.

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