"You heard it here first" and "Mark my words" are the hackneyed phrases that come to mind as I begin to type this missive. I will add the oft used "I’m going out on a limb" as I write the following:
The stock markets and commodity markets will not collapse when QE2 ends in June. In fact, said markets will most likely rally.
So, why am I willing to shimmy out onto a limb that looks ravaged by disease? Because I either enjoy the danger (possible) or in all humility I see something about the entire tree others are choosing to ignore.
One can no more accuse a tree of being deaf and dumb as one can complain about the dropping of leaves on the ground because that is its nature. The same can be said of our Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, so we can’t blame him for dropping tons of paper on the markets. He is who he is, plain and simple. He wrote dissertations on the benefits of easy money and helicopter drops of cash. So to blame him for executing his plan is futile. And to assume that the end of QE2 in June will usher in a new austere Fed chairman is to believe the proverbial leopard can change.
In fact, the Chairsatan (thank Zero Hedge for that moniker) has already begun speaking of continued accommodation:
“…during the Fed Chairman’s first post-FOMC meeting press conference ever on April 27, Mr Bernanke did state that the Fed was not going “cold turkey”. He assured us that the proceeds from “maturing assets” in the Fed’s $US 2.7 TRILLION balance sheet will continue to be deployed in the Treasury debt markets.”- The Privateer.
I propose we dispense with the ridiculous debate currently raging within the financial media about what happens at the end of QE2 and when QE3 will begin. Moreover, I would submit to you that by continuing this worthless ‘debate’ we are allowing our collective selves to become susceptible to further Fed prestidigitation.
Here is the set up for Fed Three Card Monty come June: Easy monetary policy must continue, this is a certainty (if you wish to argue this inevitability as well as other obvious laws like gravity and the color blue as relates to the sky then please navigate away from this blog, do a little research and then feel free to rejoin us at the adult table). However, Bernanke understands that a continuous trail of QE3, QE4, etc. will have diminishing returns and will be too easy for traders to follow and fade. The key for the Chairsatan is to create an environment for continued asset appreciation (US$ devaluation) without the easily recognizable QE POMO programs. So while the financial media are looking left debating quantitative easing as we currently know it, the Fed is moving right creating new QE devices to prop up markets.
I don’t profess to know what the new QE devices will look like. They could be new ways of increasing the velocity of money as opposed to the amount or we could see new enormous QE programs out of Japan that somehow miraculously find their way into our markets. A mysterious large buyer with an insatiable appetite for US treasuries could emerge from the Caribbean as seen before, ” Purchases of U.S. debt remained relatively healthy from November to December, with buyers such as Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Caribbean banking centers stepping up acquisitions in the final month of 2009.” - WSJ
Whatever the case may be rest assured the Fed’s goal is to have asset prices levitate when QE ‘ends.’ The deception will be complete in the weeks following the termination of QE2 when the WSJ et al headlines read, “QE Ends but Markets Continue Higher Lifting Confidence Fed Plan is Working.” I beseech you, don’t play the part of the Times Square Tourist or you to will eventually be separated from your money.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.