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I look at value and contrarian ideas as well as disruptive technologies worldwide, both on the long and short side. I also like to discuss the influence of monetary policy on stock markets. I usually do not engage in short-term trading and myopic analysis (quarter by quarter, without looking at... More
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  • David Einhorn On The Dangers Of Current FED Policy 4 comments
    Oct 31, 2013 3:47 PM

    David Einhorn doesn't just have a strong opinion on GMCR. An interesting excerpt from his latest letter to investors (dated October 15, 2013) discussing the FED and its monetary policy:

    "The amount of media and market attention focused on whether the Federal Reserve will taper its quantitative easing (QE) would border on comical if it weren't so serious. In August, the San Francisco Fed published an economic research paper that estimated that the $600 billion spent on QE2 added a meager 0.13% to real GDP growth in late 2010 (about $20 billion) and that the benefit fades after two years. [1]

    Given that, what practical difference does it make whether the Fed
    buys a monthly $85 billion or $75 billion or no additional securities at all for that matter?

    We maintain that excessively easy monetary policy is actually thwarting the recovery. But even if there is some trivial short-term benefit to
    QE, policy makers should be focusing on the longer-
    term perils of QE that are likely far more important. Here are some questions that come to mind:

    How much does QE contribute to the growing inequality of
    wealth in this country and what are the risks this creates?

    How much systemic risk does the Fed create by becoming what Warren Buffett termed "the greatest hedge fund in history"? [2]

    How might the Fed's expanded balance sheet and its failure to even begin to "normalize" monetary policy four years into the recovery limit its flexibility to deal with the next recession or crisis?

    No one is sure what the Fed is focused on. After spending several months bracing the market for fewer QE donuts, the Fed decided that it was premature to taper. Even a token reduction (from a baker's dozen to a dozen?) was ruled out despite the fact that the economic trajectory has not materially changed. We responded the next morning with our own stimulus by ordering jelly
    donuts for the entire office. "

    [1] www.frbsf.org/economic-research/publicat.../

    [2[ www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-20/buffet....htm

    Every long-term investor should ponder the three questions raised quote above in italic.

    Remember that policies like QE1/2/3 in the U.S. and "Abenomics" in Japan may appear sound and "working" in the short term but prove disastrous in the long run.

    Countries with their own currency can just maintain the "bubble game" for longer than countries with no national "printing capability" of their own (e.g. Greece as member of the EURozone).

    PS: As for people who argue "there is no inflation, so what do we care" please read this article:

    "Hey, whatever happened to inflation?"
    Source: bit.ly/Hfr3C0 (copy and paste if the link doesn't work)
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