BIGCAPITAL's Blog

February 25, 2011

Fed’s Bullard says it’s time to debate completing QE2

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 7:52 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fed’s Bullard says it’s time to debate completing QE2

Friday, February 25, 2011 – http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

BOWLING GREEN, Kentucky (Market News) – A senior U.S. Federal Reserve official said on Thursday he thinks it is time to consider tapering off or scaling back a $600 billion bond-buying program because of an improved economic outlook.

“The natural debate now is whether to complete the program or to taper off to a somewhat lower level of assets,” St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast held at Western Kentucky University.

Bullard said that he expects the topic to be discussed at a Fed meeting in March. He said he would be ready to scale back the program then.

“If it was just me, I would make small changes to account for the fact that the outlook is better than it was at the time of the November decision,” he told reporters after his speech.

Bullard, an academic economist, is not a voting member this year of the panel that sets interest-rate policy. He is seen as a centrist on the spectrum of Fed officials, which ranges from opponents of aggressive actions to support growth to advocates of accommodative policies at the other.

The Fed launched its bond buying program in November to buttress a weak recovery, struggling with high unemployment after the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The purchases are due to end midyear, and the Fed at its most recent policy meeting showed no sign as a body of backing away, although several policymakers have questioned the need for or the efficacy of the program.

Minutes of the Fed’s January meeting showed a few officials wondering whether data showing a strong recovery would make it appropriate to consider reducing the pace or overall size of the program.

But other officials at the meeting said the outlook was unlikely to improve dramatically enough to justify any changes. There were no dissents from the Fed policy at that meeting.

Despite his confidence in the rebound, Bullard said that events in the Middle East and lingering worries about European government fiscal soundness plague the outlook.

“We’ve got plenty of concerns out there about supply developments in oil markets, and you’ve still got brewing issues in Europe with respect to their sovereign debt crisis,” he said. “But I am saying that looking at the outlook today, it’s better than it was in November.”

Bullard said that despite his rosier outlook, further easing could never be ruled out. markets-stocks

The bond purchases are the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing, dubbed QE2. Bullard said it has been an effective tool when interest rates are near zero.

“Real interest rates declined, market expectations rose, the dollar depreciated and equity prices rose,” he said.

The Fed cut short-term interest rates close to zero in December 2008.

Bullard said a jump in food and energy costs around the world could impact U.S. prices.

“Perhaps global inflation will drive U.S. prices higher or cause other problems,” he said.

U.S. inflation is near historic lows and Fed officials have until recently been worried that the U.S. economy could slip into an outright deflationary spiral. Bullard said he believes the disinflation trend has bottomed.

“Inflation expectations are higher, which I think was a success of QE2 and if we do too much and don’t pull back in time, then we can get more inflation than we intended,” he said.

Bullard said adopting an explicit inflation target would be a better way of conducting monetary policy.

Friday, February 25, 2011 – http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

Advertisements

February 23, 2011

What happens when Quantitative Easing (QE2) ends in June?

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 1:12 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

What happens when Quantitative Easing (QE2) ends in June?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 – http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

The Congress : “There is no need for us to support Quantitative Easing Part 3” confirmed by the Senate last week.

I remain surprised that in the business press there is little if any discussion about what will happen when Quantitative Easing II expires in June.

From a congressional standpoint, there has been discussion designed to force an early end to the program. Others have gone in the opposite direction mentioning a possible QE3.

In my view, the economy is slowly picking up. Deflation is less an issue, manufacturing activity is up, and consumers are spending a bit more. Corporate profits have exceeded expectations for Q4 2010.

On the downside, the housing market shows no signs of improving and might not have yet bottomed. Trouble in the middle East could disrupt oil shipments. China appears to be experiencing uncontrolled inflation and an asset bubble that is about to burst. Europe is experiencing continued sovereign debt issues. Some analysts believe that the UK is in stagflation. Commodity prices are increasing rapidly. Corporations have no pricing power. The US labor market will take years to repair. And finally, US Budget deficit is out of control!!!

This all points to a tenuous financial environment at the time of QE2 expiration. For 2011, YTD stock prices might be negative.

Any yet the business press seems quiet on this issue …

Read more: Count Down to Quantitative Easing Removal ends in June.

For 2011, YTD stock prices might be negative.

Which would be unlike the quantitative easing that the CABAL (Fed) have been subjecting our economy to… The CABAL chairman told us when he implemented QE1 and Q2, that it was for the good of the economy, to spur economic growth, job creation, and keep interest rates down… Well… That’s strike one, two and three… Go grab some bench, Mr. CABAL Chairman! And that’s all I can say about that right here, right now, as this is the kinder

Since the CABAL introduced quantitative easing in March of 2009, inflation has taken off, just as I told you back almost two years ago that it would… No, we’re not seeing wage inflation, or housing inflation… But get a load of these things that have increased phenomenally since March 2009.

The average price of gas is up 69%… The price of oil is up 135%… Corn is up 78%… Sugar is up 164%… And I could go on, but I think you get the picture. Now, on the other side of the employment that was supposed to improve with QE, the number of unemployed people is up 25%… The number of food stamps recipients is up 35%… The national debt is up 32%… And then the last thing they told us would improve or remain steady was interest rates… Hmmm… Well, the 10-year Treasury is up 100 basis points in the past three months alone! Sorry to be the one that had to tell you these things, but if you only watched cable media, you wouldn’t know about these things, and when the Conference Board called to survey you about how confident you were about the economy, you would be singing the praises of the CABAL for all they had done for you!

Inflation Building, Fed Should Back Off: LaVorgna

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 12:22 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inflation Building, Fed Should Back Off: LaVorgna

As government economists and Fed apologists continue to dismiss inflation pressures, the fear that easy money and commodity pressures are about to come home to roost is building.

While Michael Pento at Euro Pacific Capital and a handful of others have been pounding the table about inflation ever since the Federal Reserve began quantitative easing, the sentiment is beginning to spread.

The latest on board is Joe LaVorgna, chief US economist at Deutsche Bank, who warns in a note sent to clients Friday that “inflation pressures are inflating.”

The threat is two-pronged: On one hand this week’s producer and consumer price numbers show pressures are building in the crude, or initial, price pipeline that will spread to intermediate and finished products in the months ahead.

On the other hand is “energy inflation contagion,” in which surging prices in that space “have shown a significant capacity to breed inflation contagion among related categories and have destabilized inflation expectations.”

Taking both threats into consideration, LaVorgna posits that the Fed should reconsider completing the entire $600 billion of Treasury buys it has planned for the second leg of QE.

Unless the brakes are put on, LaVorgna argues that core finished PPI prices will increase at an annualized 4 percent rate, and he concedes that if his calculations are wrong they are on the low side.

Finally, he warns against the pervasive mindset that commodity price increases will not cause so-called “pass-through” costs into the broader economy. The rise in CPI and PPI comes as manufacturing activity and capacity are rising, as opposed to the last bout of commodity-induced inflation when the economy was shrinking.

An excerpt from the LaVorgna note:

“We believe the rise in commodity prices is significant, because it is occurring alongside robust factory activity and a general strengthening in underlying domestic demand—a crucial difference from the 2008 run-up in commodities, when the factory sector was shrinking and demand was slowing. Therefore, monetary policymakers should be cognizant of the pipeline pressure brewing in the PPI.

“The risk is that an overstay of aggressively accommodative monetary policy could lead to even larger gains in retail goods prices down the road—the Catch 22 of Fed folks worried that higher commodities will crimp demand. Rather it is ample demand that is pushing commodities higher. Consequently, as long as monetary policy remains extraordinarily accommodative, thereby further boosting demand, we expect these trends to persist if not become more durable.”

.

Dollar May Appreciate to 1.0067 Swiss Francs

Dollar May Appreciate to 1.0067 Swiss Francs: Technical Analysis

The dollar may reverse last week’s decline and rally 6 percent to its December high against the Swiss franc, Commerzbank AG said, citing technical indicators.

“Longer-term, we target 1.0067” Swiss francs per dollar, Karen Jones, head of fixed-income, commodity and currency technical analysis at Commerzbank in London, wrote in a report today. The exchange rate reached that level on Dec. 1.

The dollar strengthened 0.3 percent to 94.78 Swiss centimes at 12:30 p.m. today in London. The greenback slumped almost 3 percent against the franc last week and sank to 94.25 earlier today, the weakest level since Feb. 3, Bloomberg data show.

“We would allow the slide to continue to 0.9425, from where we would favor recovery,” Jones wrote. That’s the 78.6 percent Fibonacci retracement of the rally seen in February, Jones wrote.

The dollar may test resistance at around 97.74 centimes, she said. Those levels represent the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement of the move down from December and the high from Jan. 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Fibonacci analysis is based on the theory that prices rise or fall by certain percentages after reaching a high or low. Resistance and support levels are areas on a chart where technical analysts anticipate orders to sell or buy, respectively, a currency and its related instruments

Fed’s Fisher Says More Stimulus Unnecessary

Fed’s Fisher Says More Stimulus Unnecessary

(RTTNews) – A top Federal Reserve official declared on Thursday that we would not back more monetary easing when the Fed’s $600 billion quantitative easing program winds to a close.

Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, was quoted as saying that he could not foresee any circumstances that would warrant more stimulus and suggested that the central bank should turn its attention to unwinding support.

Fisher’s comments contrast with those made by the Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, who backed the Fed’s extremely loose monetary policy and assured that it had the tools to tighten quickly if needed should inflation rise faster than expected

February 14, 2011

U.K Inflation fears lead investors to bet on rate rises

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 8:36 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

U.K Inflation fears lead investors to bet on rate rises

http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

Published: February 13 2011 18:54 | Last updated: February 13 2011 18:54 – The Financial Times

LONDON – Hundreds of billions of dollars have exchanged hands this year in bets on when the next interest rate rises will be in the UK and eurozone, as volumes have surged in these markets because of the growing threat of inflation.

Financial markets are betting that the UK will be the first to raise rates in June, followed by the European Central Bank in September and finally the US Federal Reserve in December.

Rising food and commodity prices have prompted markets to bring forward expectations of rate rises, sparking the jump in volumes as inflation has become one of the biggest concerns for businesses, consumers and investors.

The increasing focus on inflation has also triggered a debate over the accuracy of these predictions, with opinions divided over how much faith investors should place in them.

Don Smith, economist at Icap, said: “The market forecasts are as good a guide as you will get. They are in a sense multibillion-dollar predictions because of the vast amount of money behind the trades that set them.”

Some strategists also argue that rate forecasts can be self-fulfilling, as central banks do not like to surprise markets.

However, John Wraith, fixed-income strategist at BofA Merrill Lynch, said: “Market rate expectations are useful indicators, but they only tell you the consensus market view at any given point in time. Circumstances change and so do they.”

Mr Wraith thinks rates in the UK, for example, may be delayed beyond June, as policymakers are more concerned about weak growth in spite of rising inflation, which at 3.7 per cent is nearly double the Bank of England’s inflation target. There is also a view that rises in fixed-interest mortgage rates and some company loan costs are in effect tightening monetary policy for the Bank of England, which means that rates may not have to be increased as early as the market expects.

However, most strategists say the markets are more accurate today than they were in the past, as the contracts – known as overnight index swaps in the UK and eurozone and Fed funds futures in the US – used to make the predictions are more widely traded with hundreds of banks and investment funds making bets.

Brokers say rough estimates show daily turnover has risen to about $200bn in Fed funds futures and to about $20bn in each of the UK and eurozone overnight index swap markets

February 9, 2011

China Hikes Shouldn’t Slow Global Growth

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 1:09 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

China Hikes Shouldn’t Slow Global Growth

China has raised benchmark interest rates for the third time since October.

Unsurprisingly, rising inflationary pressures is the primary motivation behind China’s rate hike. We have been looking for another rate hike from China since they tightened in December and with prices rising due to geopolitical risks, the Lunar New Year and a recent drought in the grain producing Northeast part of the country, China did not want to take any risks, opting to preempt a further increase in inflationary pressures by raising interest rates. Given the health of the Chinese economy and the prospect of stronger global growth, we have not seen the last of China’s policy actions.

Capital Economics analysts note that they think markets are right to have taken China’s latest decision to raise interest rates in stride. The announcement has caused some jitters about the impact tightening will have on growth but these concerns should not be overplayed as the rate hikes should not do much to slow growth, they say. Aggressive monetary tightening should not be needed in China, they say.

From The Dow Jones Newswires

http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

February 08, 2011 11:29 ET (16:29 GMT)

February 8, 2011

Sterling Jumps on Improved Sentiment

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 9:38 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 

Sterling Jumps on Improved Sentiment

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

The Pound has made gains today across the majority of the most actively traded currencies. Gains can be attributed to improved sentiment driving the market. For the last couple of weeks the pound has suffered from negative sentiment caused by very poor Q4 GDP figures for 2010. The reversal has however been driven by last week’s better than expected UK manufacturing and services sector news. Markets are also guessing that interest rates in the UK could rise sooner than previously expected with potentially three incremental rises in 2011.

The Pound has consolidated its gains in trade this afternoon as investors become coy ahead of the BoE rate announcement. Markets widely accept that it is unlikely that the Bank of England will make any adjustments to current monetary policy. If this is the case, traders focus will then shift to the minutes at the end of the month to help second guess when we might see the first interest rate hike of the year. Most analysts predict that the Bank of England will adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach and wait until May for the Q1 GDP figures for 2011.

Inflation in the UK remains a risk and is the reason for heightened interest rate expectations. Inflation is expected to continue to rise in the short term and could pose a significant threat to the UK economy if not dealt with properly by the Bank of England. The problem is however that any rise in interest rates could put the stoppers on the UK economic recovery and trigger another recession. The Bank of England therefore faces a very difficult task in balancing the risks to economic growth with inflationary pressures.

The Euro has suffered in the last week with the S&P downgrading Ireland’s credit rating. This has fuelled ongoing concerns of Sovereign Debt contagion throughout Europe. The GBP/EUR pair has jumped from a low of 1.1531 on the 26th January to 1.1920 in trade today. This 3.5% move is a significant recovery and could see a subsequent upward move with sufficient momentum through the psychological 1.20 level.

Factory orders in Germany weakened for the first time in three months today. Demand slipped 3.4% in December almost 2% worse than expected. A slowdown in Germany will drag on the Euro exchange rate as investors see this powerhouse as part of the Euro’s core strength.

The Dollar has seen mixed price action today, most traders expect the market to consolidate yet remain above the psychological 1.60 level. Similar to the expectation on GBP/EUR we would expect GBP/USD to rally if we see an indication that the Bank of England will normalise monetary policy with a series of interest rate hikes this year.

http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

February 3, 2011

Euro Is Still Not Out Of Dangers Zone

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 5:43 am
Tags: , , ,

 

Euro Is Still Not Out Of Dangers Zone

February 02, 2011 – http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

 

NEW YORK (Market News)– The European Central Bank has become more political since its decision to buy euro-zone government bonds last year, and is therefore unlikely to raise interest rates early even if inflation surges, according to Commerzbank chief economist Joerg Kraemer. “Even if inflation moves towards 3%, the ECB is still unlikely to raise rates until the fourth quarter [of this year]” Kraemer says

EUR/USD is “teetering” lower on profit-taking, strong U.S. data and concerns about further turmoil in Egypt, says HiFX senior trader Stuart Ive. “The markets are still preoccupied with Egypt to a degree especially after (Egypt’s President) Mubarak supporters protested after his speech yesterday.”

The euro fell from the near three-month high against the dollar it reached earlier Wednesday, as social unrest in Egypt combined with the euro zone’s ongoing debt crisis to inject some caution into bullish traders.

Boiling instability in Egypt tempered a revival in an appetite for riskier investments, as violence erupted between antigovernment forces and supporters of embattled President Hosni Mubarak. Nervous investors bought dollars as a haven, pulling the U.S. currency up from its weakest level against the euro since early November.

Developments in Europe’s debt crisis also doused some of the market’s enthusiasm for the euro, reminding traders that the euro zone’s woes have not disappeared.

German Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen rejected the idea of creating a euro-zone bond, reiterating that any revisions to the existing euro-zone fiscal rescue facility will likely require fiscal concessions from euro-zone governments. Elsewhere, ratings agency Standard & Poor’s lowered its assessment of six Irish banks and placed them on watch for further downgrades.

“People are watching with one eye what’s going on in the streets in Cairo, and it’s causing second thoughts about” taking the euro higher, said Brian Dolan, chief currency strategist at Forex.com in Bedminster, N.J.

Risk aversion coalesced with fears that the process for resolving Europe’s debt issues could turn “sloppy,” Dolan added. “There’s a question of some further [euro] weakness as the move-up stalls and some people head for the exits.”

The euro slipped to new U.S. session lows underneath $1.3780, below its offshore trading high at $1.3862. Against the yen, the euro purchased Y112.72, slightly higher on the day. Meanwhile, the dollar bought Y81.80, up slightly from Tuesday.

Source: http://marketpin.blogspot.com/

February 02, 2011

February 2, 2011

Bernanke: The Dollar System Is Flawed

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 9:18 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Bernanke: The Dollar System Is Flawed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech in Frankfurt may be one of the most important and underreported events since America abandoned the gold standard. In it, he said the dollar standard was flawed and that America’s trade deficit was imperiling America.

 “[I]t would be desirable for the global community, over time, to devise [a new] international monetary system,” he said.

 Never before has a Fed chairman made such an admission. Never before has one ever disparaged his own currency in such a way.

“The speech was a radical departure from the status quo and a major signal for a looming policy change. It means that trade war is virtually guaranteed and the dollar will soon be devalued. Dramatic global economic upheaval is on the way. “

 On November 19, Ben Bernanke told a room full of bankers in Frankfurt, Germany, that the world’s sense of common purpose had waned. Tensions among nations over economic policies are intensifying, he said. It threatens the world’s ability to find a solution.

 U.S. unemployment rates are high, he told the gathering, and given the slow pace of economic growth, likely to remain so. Approximately 8.5 million jobs have been lost so far, and when you take into account population growth, the size of the employment gap is even larger, he said.

 Unemployment may get even worse before it gets better.

 “In sum, on its current economic trajectory the United Sates runs the risk of seeing millions of workers unemployed or underemployed for many years,” lamented Bernanke. “As a society, we should find that outcome unacceptable.”

 In an effort to win European allies, America’s most powerful banker then went on the attack—blaming China for causing much of the economic and trade imbalances destabilizing the current dollar-centric economic order and threatening the world’s economy.

 China is manipulating the market to keep its currency undervalued, he charged. This has led to imbalances.

 Each month China sells tens of billions of dollars more worth of goods and services to America than it purchases in return. Many American economists claim this is because of China’s undervalued currency, which makes Chinese goods less expensive in America and American goods more expensive in China.

 Coupled with China’s low-wage, low-taxation, low-regulatory, non-union environment, resulting in the relocation of millions of American jobs overseas, China has received a huge economic boost at America’s expense.

 This is a primary reason nations like China have fully recovered from the recession while America is still mired in it, noted Bernanke. America can no longer afford to let China drain the U.S. economy.

But what to do about it?

 “As currently constituted, the international monetary system has a structural flaw,” said America’s chief banker. The dollar system is broken. “It lacks a mechanism, market based or otherwise, to induce needed adjustments by surplus countries, which can result in persistent imbalances” (emphasis mine throughout).

“In the meantime, without such a system in place, the countries of the world must recognize their collective responsibility for bringing about the rebalancing required to preserve global economic stability and prosperity.”

 Thus Bernanke told his German audience to prepare for “market-based or otherwise” unorthodox—even radical—action by the Fed to try and force China to revalue its currency and rebalance the global economy.

 The “flaw” has been declared. But what is Bernanke going to do?

 “Bernanke is alerting the world to the most important shift in U.S. trade policy in more than a generation,” writes economic analyst and author Richard Duncan. “The world has been put on notice that the United States will take steps to correct this defect and the destabilizing trade imbalances it permits.”

 “If the flaw cannot be corrected through international coordination, then unilateral actions by the United Sates should be anticipated,” Duncan warns.

 And if history is a guide, that means tariffs and trade duties.

 The first major shots of trade war may be about to be fired—and the Fed has just given its blessing. If you look back on the 1930s and that disastrous time period, protectionism is lethally contagious and predictable. Global trade and commerce will contract. Import prices will rise. Unemployment will skyrocket. And that is just for starters.

 During the Great Depression, America was not burdened under record debt. The economy entered that age of trade warfare from a position of strength, and still the economy got ruthlessly battered.

 A trade-war-induced depression today would potentially be far worse—and not just because the United States has become the greatest debtor nation in all history, but because this time, the credibility of America’s government, its central bank and its currency, are all now in question.

 Besides tariffs, Mr. Bernanke’s declaration that the international monetary system is broken also means the Fed will engage in as much “quantitative easing” as necessary to compensate for what he sees as its “structural flaws.”

 During the G-20 meeting in South Korea two weeks ago, President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner were forced to defend the Federal Reserve’s decision to print dollars to finance government spending and depreciate the value of the dollar.

 Foreign nations saw it as a way for America to renege on its debts.

 Bernanke’s Frankfurt defense of the Fed’s “quantitative easing” will do little to reverse that sentiment. “Fully aware of the important role that the dollar plays in the international monetary and financial system, the [Fed] believes that the best way to continue to deliver the strong economic fundamentals that underpin the value of the dollar, as well as to support the global recovery, is through policies that lead to a resumption of robust growth in the context of price stability in the United States,” Bernanke said.

 In order for America to support the value of the dollar, it will devalue it, said Bernanke. The incongruity is palpable—and surely wasn’t lost on America’s bond holders. Every time the Federal Reserve hits the “print” button, creating money out of thin air, it devalues the dollars in existence. America’s lenders (of which the Chinese are the largest) have been put on notice that they will be paid back in depreciated dollars.

 Be prepared for more quantitative easing—or, as it has become known overseas, quantitative fleecing.

 And be prepared for the Federal Reserve’s antics to succeed all too well.

 Foreign nations, and America’s foreign creditors, grow more dissatisfied with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency every day. The move to adopt a new reserve currency system is gaining momentum. When this happens, the Federal Reserve will get a whole lot more international cooperation in meeting its goals than it could have ever wanted.

 The Fed won’t be trying to devalue the dollar anymore—it will be doing everything it can to prop it up.

 Unfortunately, with faith in the dollar broken, the government unable to borrow money and a global trade war ravaging the U.S. economy, America will pine for the structurally “flawed” but comparatively good old days.

 “The speech was a radical departure from the status quo and a major signal for a looming policy change. It means that trade war is virtually guaranteed and the dollar will soon be devalued. Dramatic global economic upheaval is on the way.”

– MARKET TALK –

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.