Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Fed Removes The Exit Strategy From Quantitative Easing

Some quick thoughts on the taper:

The Fed chose to slow their bond buying program by $10 billion per month, reducing the amount of mortgages they will purchase by $5 billion and the amount of treasuries they will purchase by $5 billion. They are now buying $75 billion of bonds per month with printed money.

I felt the most important part of the Fed announcement yesterday was not the $10 billion reduction. When they first launched QE-ternity back in September 2012 they had an exit strategy based around the unemployment rate falling to 6.5%. This made the market nervous because as we have discussed numerous times in the past, the unemployment rate is currently falling in large part due to people giving up looking for jobs (they are then considered employed by the government). Bernanke acknowledged this problem in recent press conferences.

Yesterday they removed this barrier saying that they will continue easing "well past" the unemployment rate hitting 6.5%. Now they have removed all limits around how long QE will run.

When the mania in stocks subsides or if they begin to lose control of the bond market (which may already be happening) they will re-enter the market with even larger doses of QE heroine. 

In the meantime, gold, silver, agriculture, strong emerging market stocks and currencies may all fall on the news. I'll be a buyer. 

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