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February 25, 2011

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 7:52 am
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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/

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February 23, 2011

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

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 1:12 am
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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!

December 31, 2010

Estonia Joins Euro Club Currency 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 10:21 am
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Estonia Joins Euro Club Currency 2011

via Bloomberg.com – Dec 31, 2010

Estonia Joins Euro Club as Currency Expands East Into Former Soviet Union

Estonia tomorrow becomes the first former Soviet republic to join the euro, putting at least a temporary cap on the currency bloc’s expansion as the sovereign debt crisis ripples through Europe.

Wedged between Russia and Latvia on the Baltic Sea, Estonia will at midnight become the 17th country to switch to the currency. Gross domestic product of 14 billion euros ($19 billion) makes it the second smallest euro economy after Malta.

As Europe grapples with the financial crisis, Estonia is likely to be the last addition to the euro club for several years. Lithuania and Latvia, the next in line, are aiming for 2014 and bigger eastern countries have shied away from setting target dates.

“The euro is still generally seen as a positive for the applicant countries as long as the conversion rate is somewhat competitive,” Elisabeth Gruie, an emerging-markets strategist at BNP Paribas SA in London, said in an email. High deficits are keeping Poland out and an “inner desire for independence” is the obstacle in the Czech Republic, she said.

Debt estimated by the European Union at 8 percent of GDP in 2010 will make Estonia the fiscally soundest country in a currency bloc plagued by budget woes that forced Greece and Ireland to fall back on European and International Monetary Fund aid.

Confidence in Euro

“It is a sign of the confidence of Estonia toward the euro, despite the current difficulties, which will be a positive signal to the markets,” Joseph Daul of France, floor leader of center-right parties in the European Parliament, said in an e- mailed statement.

Estonia’s central bank chief, Andres Lipstok, 53, will join the European Central Bank’s policy-setting council, taking part in his first interest-rate vote on Jan. 13 in Frankfurt.

Some 85 million euro coins featuring a map of Estonia and 12 million banknotes go into circulation tomorrow, according to the central bank, starting a two-week phase out of the national currency, the kroon. One euro buys 15.6466 krooni.

The 1.3 million Estonians have little experience of monetary autonomy. In June 1992, less than a year after regaining independence from the Soviet Union, Estonia shifted from the Russian ruble to a national currency that it immediately pegged to the German mark. The exchange rate was locked to the euro when the first 11 countries began using it in 1999.

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

Rogers: Europe is Doomed…but I’m Still Long The Euro (and Breakfast)

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigcapital @ 9:30 am
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Rogers: Europe is Doomed…but I’m Still Long The Euro (and Breakfast)

Via CNBC Television – December 2010

 

http://plus.cnbc.com/rssvideosearch/action/player/id/1687065072/code/cnbcplayershare

I’ve never brought a guest such an elaborate breakfast- but when legendary investor Jim Rogers wants to come on my show- I go all out. Truth be told, it wasn’t entirely Suzy Anchorwoman of me—it was secretly a good jumping off point for his favorite topic these days- inflation.

“Have you tried to buy any cotton recently? Have you tried to buy any sugar recently?” he said pointing down to the spread in front of him.

Co-hosting with me this morning on “Worldwide Exchange” over a breakfast of Diet Coke, candy and bagels, CEO of Rogers Holdings Jim Rogers was as usual all about commodities as an inflation hedge: the sugar he adores along with gold and silver

“Prices are going up. I don’t know who these guys are who say prices are not going up. I look in the real world, and I see what’s happening. And everybody watching this show knows that prices are going up.”

Knowing Rogers’ vehement opposition to printing money (he said in a recent interview that Fed chairman Bernanke is “a disaster” and that “all he understands is printing money”), I asked him about the rumors that there would be more money printing in QE3 and QE4.

“I know there’s talk of it. It’s dumbfounding,” he said. “It’s stupefying to me that we have a Central Bank in the United States that thinks all they have to do is print money. That has never worked, anywhere in the world in the long term or the medium term.

He added that US central bankers see printing money as an easy solution, “Because that’s all they know.”

On the other hand, he said that the Central Bank’s current policy of printing money is “not good for the world, but at least they’re not raising taxes.”

So he’s staying far away from debt, saying it’s all overpriced and sticking his beloved commodities along with currencies.

“I own the Euro, I’m long the Euro, and I’m staying with it,” he said even though he knows Europe is doomed.

“You need to let Ireland go bankrupt,” he told me. “They are bankrupt. Why should innocent Germans, or innocent Poles, or innocent anybody pay for mistakes made by Irish politicians and Irish banks? That is unbelievably bad morality and it’s bad economics as well.”

“Let the bank’s shareholders lose money. Let the bank bondholders lose money. Let Ireland reorganize and start over. That’s the only thing that’s going to work. Propping people up and carrying lots of zombie banks and zombie companies is not going to work.”

“Greece is insolvent, Portugal has a liquidity problem, Spain has a liquidity problem, Belgium has been faking the books for a long time, Italy’s been faking the books for a long time. The UK is totally insolvent,” he said.

EUR/CHF hits another fresh all-time low after having earlier dropped to a series of all-time lows. Pair dips as low as 1.2678 from 1.2785 late Friday, according to EBS via CQG. Investors pressuring EUR over continued worries over the region’s sovereign debt. SNB not likely to step in to stem CHF strength, says Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg’s Martin Guth, noting he would expect the Swiss central bank to stay on the sidelines at least until the pair drops to 1.25. “So far, especially [in] last month’s interest rate decision, in my opinion they didn’t give any hints that they are about to intervene,” he says.

UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, is one of the biggest financial institutions in the world said : “No Sharp Decline In Global Risk Appetite”; – The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis remains contained, and has not yet leaked out to affect emerging market currencies and risk appetite more broadly, said UBS, judging on the basis of its own flow data from lat week. “There was no sign of the broad-based and indiscriminate selling that would be associated with a sharp decline in global risk appetite,” it said in a note to clients.

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