Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.RED ALERT: Paris Terror Attacks - What to Expect Next - STRATFOR
2.Paris Terror Attacks, Death Pangs of a Dying Religion, and Impact on BrExit EU Referendum - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Paris Terror Attacks, Islamic State Attempting to Spark Civil War in France - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Three Shocking Charts That Prove Gold Price Rally Is Coming - Sean Brodrick
5.Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - Mike_Shedlock
6.Africa Population Explosion - Why Europe's Migrant Crisis is Going to Get A Lot Worse - Video - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Gold Mining Stocks May Be The Buy Of The Century - Jeff_Berwick
8.Grandmaster Putin Beats Uncle Sam at His Own Game - Mike_Whitney
9.BRICS? No, CRISIS - Raymond_Matison
10.UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 5 days
Stock Market Top Valuations, at a Critical Juncture - 27th Nov 15
The Top Shopping Opportunity on Black Friday - 27th Nov 15
Economics Is About Scarcity, Property, and Relationships - 27th Nov 15
UK Immigration Crisis Hits New Extreme of 336k Net Migration, up 32% on 2014 - 27th Nov 15
Vauxhall Zafira B Fire Danger Recall - What to Do Video - 26th Nov 15
Triggers In US Dollar Collapse - 26th Nov 15
Apple Stock is a 10-Year Short - Bear Market Environment - 26th Nov 15
U.S. Federal Reserve Rate Hike - 26th Nov 15
George Osborne's War on Buy to Let Sector Trending Towards Doomsday - 26th Nov 15
Will Turkey Drag NATO into War With Russia in Syria? - 25th Nov 15
George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review Full Text - 25th Nov 15
Will Fresh QE From ECB Boost Gold? - 25th Nov 15
Sheffield, Yorkshire and Humberside House Prices Forecast 2016-2018 - 25th Nov 15
Investors Watch Out For The Auto Industry… - 24th Nov 15
BEA Revises 3rd Quarter 2015 US GDP Economic Growth Upward to 2.07% - 24th Nov 15
Stock Market Supports Are Being Broken - 24th Nov 15
Is Gold Price on the Verge of a Breakout? - 24th Nov 15
Fed’s Tarullo: U.S. Interest Rates Liftoff Should Wait for Signs of Inflation - 24th Nov 15
Silver Price, COT, US Dollar Updates and More - 24th Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices Analysis - Video - 23rd Nov 15
Crude Oil Swinging For The Fences - A 20 to 1 Option Play - 23rd Nov 15
US Dollar, CRB, Oil, Gas, Copper and Gold - The Chartology of Deflation - 23rd Nov 15
UK Regional House Prices, Cheapest and Most Expensive Property Markets - 23rd Nov 15
Stock Market Rally Losing Momentum? - 23rd Nov 15
Will Gold Price Drop Below $1000 Soon? - 23rd Nov 15
Gold and Silver Sector Big Green Light and Low Risk Entry Setup... - 23rd Nov 15
Limits to Economic Growth - Challenge and Choices - 22nd Nov 15
Long Dollar Trade and Current Copper Price Below Cost of Production - 22nd Nov 15
UK Housing Market House Prices Affordability Crisis - Video - 21st Nov 15
The Fed Has Set the Stage for a Stock Market Crash - 21st Nov 15
Stock Market Primary V Wave Continues - 21st Nov 15
Gold And Silver - Value Of Knowing The Trend - 21st Nov 15
UK Footsie Bulls Set To Foot The Bill - 21st Nov 15
UK Housing Market Affordability, House Prices Momentum and Trend Forecast - 21st Nov 15
GDX Gold Miners’ Strong Q3 Results - 20th Nov 15
End of Schengen, Stock Market’s Technical Strength Grows - 20th Nov 15
Justice for All and The Curious Case of Zambia - 20th Nov 15
Paris, Sharm el-Sheikh, and the Resurrection of Old Europe - 20th Nov 15
Silver Prices and The Management of Perception - 20th Nov 15
Stock Market Nifty-Fifty Becomes Fab-Five; Return of the 'Four Horseman' - 20th Nov 15
Waiting for Goldot Again - 20th Nov 15
Michael Curran Goes Down-Market Shopping for Gold Stock Winners - 20th Nov 15
Why Isn’t This Incredibly Bearish Bond Market Development Making the News? - 19th Nov 15
SPX Appears to have Stopped its Rally - 19th Nov 15
The Great Fall Of China Started At Least 4 Years Ago - 19th Nov 15
Using Elliott Waves: As Simple As A-B-C - 19th Nov 15
Has Deflation Been Ddefeated? - 19th Nov 15
Dow Jones Stock Market Index is Not Going to Crash - 19th Nov 15

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Reasons to Get Excited About Japanese Stocks

Reasons Why QE2 Will Fail

Interest-Rates / Quantitative Easing Nov 04, 2010 - 06:37 AM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock


Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleDr. El-Erian, CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO states several reasons why QEII will backfire.

1. The Fed is going it alone, without meaningful structural reforms
2. Emerging economies burdened by capital inflows in the wake of QEII will react with currency wars, protectionism, and capital controls
3. Resultant commodity price increases will increase input costs and reduce earnings of American companies

The position of El-Erian is interesting given that PIMCO founder, managing director and co-CIO endorsed QEII as discussed in Bill Gross' Arrogant Endorsement of Fed's QE Policy he calls History's Most "Brazen Ponzi Scheme".

Unintended Consequences of QEII

Mohamed El-Erian addresses the unintended consequences of Fed policy actions and the reasons Quantitative Easing will fail in QE2 blunderbuss likely to backfire.

The Fed faces three problems, with its solo role being the first. Having warned in late August in Jackson Hole that “central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems”, Ben Bernanke, the Fed’s chairman, is now leading an institution that is virtually on its own among US policymakers in meaningfully trying to counter the sluggishness of the US economy and the stubbornly high unemployment.

The rest of the world does not need this extra liquidity, and this is where the second problem emerges. Several emerging economies, such as Brazil and China, are already close to overheating; and the eurozone and Japan can ill afford further appreciation in their currencies.

Despite polite rhetoric to the contrary in the lead up to the Group of 20 leading economies summit in Korea this month, other countries are likely to counter what they view as an unnecessarily disruptive surge in capital flows caused by inappropriate and short-sighted American policy. The result will be renewed currency tensions and a higher risk of capital controls and trade protectionism.

The third issue relates to the gradual erosion of America’s central role in the global economy – including as the provider of both the world’s reserve currency and its deepest and most predictable financial markets. No other country or multilateral institution can displace the US, but a combination of alternatives can serve to erode its influence over time. No wonder commodity prices surged higher and the dollar weakened markedly in anticipation of QE2, pointing to increased input costs for American companies and unwelcome pressures on their earnings.

Pavlov's Dogs and the "No Choice" Argument Yet Again

Although I agree with the three major points above, I certainly do not concur with El-Erian's opening gambit "Given the high market expectations, the US Federal Reserve had no choice but to announce a second tranche of quantitative easing".

Pray tell who set those expectations if not the Fed? Moreover, given the market reacted like Pavlov's Dogs to the announcement, the Fed could have and should have toned down market expectations.

Finally given that the Fed produced a bubble in junk bonds and sent commodity prices soaring the Fed had every reason to disappoint the market today.

For more on junk bonds please see ...

Intended vs. Unintended Consequences

Add a junk bond bubble to the list of consequences (unintended or otherwise).

Bernanke is clearly misguided enough and arrogant enough to purposely blow a junk bond bubble as an "intended consequence", even though the housing bubble bust proves without a doubt the asininity of such policies.

Thus, it's hard to say if Bernanke wants a junk bond bubble or is merely willing to live with one.

Then again, Bernanke is dense enough to not have any clues about what is happening. He did not see the housing bubble, the recession, the huge rise in unemployment, and any number of other things that happened. In fact, he even denied there was a housing bubble.

In the academic wonderland in which Bernanke lives, it is perfectly possible he is oblivious to the bubbles he is creating.

However, looking at things from every angle, given that Bernanke Admits Targeting Stock Prices, I am leaning towards the first option: Bernanke is misguided enough and arrogant enough to purposely blow more asset bubbles as an "intended consequence", hoping he can deal with them later.

Missing the Obvious

I touched on the one obvious reason QEII will fail in QEII Announced, Fed Set to Buy $600 Billion in Bonds, Reinvest $250 Billion More; Fed Micromanaged Economy to Oblivion; No Miracles Coming

Doubts? What Doubts?

There is little doubt, at least in this corner, that the plan cannot possibly work. Corporate borrowing costs are the lowest in history and that hasn't spurred hiring. Will another quarter of a point lower matter? Will QEII even lower rates that much?

Simple explanations as to why QEII will fail are best: "Money’s Already Quite Cheap"

With mortgage interest rates at all time lows, is this supposed to help housing? Why?

It is sad but true economic thinking these days that the "Fed had to do Something". Why does it make sense to do something, just for the sake of doing, when it should be crystal clear that doing just adds to problems down the road.

Fed Micromanaged Economy to Oblivion

The Fed has clearly micromanaged this economy to oblivion. Greenspan's experiment short-circuited the 2001 recession but the expense was the biggest housing bubble in the history of the world, not just in the US, but globally.

A global recession soon followed.

Now on misguided calls to "do something" the Fed is blowing a bubble in commodities that cannot possibly help margin strapped small businesses.

An excerpt from $30 Billion Offer No One Wants - Small Businesses Hit by Deflation will show why. ....

No One Has To Do Anything

It is disappointing to see El-Erian perpetuate the myth the Fed had to do something when one of the biggest reasons we are in this mess is a activist Fed under both Greenspan and Bernanke felt the need to do something about LTCM, Y2K, the Dot-Com bubble, housing, motherhood, and apple pie.

At least El-Erian is not defending what Gross calls a "Ponzi Scheme" to the same foolish extent that Bill Gross did. More importantly, El-Erian makes it clear exactly what some of the consequences are, while the Gross article sounds like "jumping the shark".

Structural Reforms

El-Erian said "Without meaningful structural reforms, part of the Fed’s liquidity injection will leak right out of the US and result in yet another surge of capital flows to other countries."

I agree, but I rather doubt we are talking the same language. This country needs to ...

  • Scrap Davis-Bacon
  • End public union collective bargaining
  • End the public union stranglehold on the cities and states
  • Fix the pension problem
  • Even the playing field between big and small businesses on corporate income taxes
  • Get the hell out of Afghanistan
  • Reduce military spending
  • Rein in entitlements
  • Stop being the world's policeman
  • Balance the budget
  • Return to constitutional money

Fed Fights Battle that Cannot be Won, Should Not be Fought

Given that Congress is unlikely to do many, if indeed any of those things, the Fed is fighting a battle that cannot be won and should not be fought.

We are in this mess because the Fed micro-mismanaged the economy at every critical juncture while attempting to smooth over various fiscal insanities, counter bad Congressional policies, as well as deal with the repercussions of its own monetary insanities, on a delayed chasing-its-tail basis, in a global economy that waits for no one.

Is it any wonder the Fed failed in dual mandate of price stability and maximum growth?

For more on the silliness of the Dual Mandate as well as a rebuttal to the notion "Don't Fight the Fed" please see Krugman and the Inevitable "I Told You So" - Tim Duy "Bad Things Happen When You Fight the Fed"; Final End of Bretton Woods 2?

With that key idea in mind, there are two more structural reforms glaringly lacking in the above list: Abolish the Fed and End Fractional Reserve Banking.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management . Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Visit Sitka Pacific's Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

I do weekly podcasts every Thursday on HoweStreet and a brief 7 minute segment on Saturday on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at .

© 2010 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved.

© 2005-2015 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


04 Nov 10, 12:33

The facts are that shedlocks been wrong on just about everything !

Deflation, stocks, bonds, economy, commodities.

04 Nov 10, 16:57
Bernanke VS China

There's and old saying: "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear". Our current economy is without doubt a "sow's

ear". There are two facets of the economy--Main Street and Wall Street. Main Street is unbalanced, weak, lacks a

manufacturing sector, and its labor is not competitive on the world market. Wall Street is excessively speculative, corrupt, unproductive, and rife with criminality. But the main problem of the economy is debt--some economic studies put the total US debt at over 700 trillion dollars. Obviously the economy can not be transformed back to its prior supereminent state ("recovered") with a few drops of Bernanke holy water. (I leave it to the reader and/or Bernanke to define the era of our past "supereminent" economy).

Bernanke is certainly the King of Unforeseen Consequences. I was much surprised by the widespread acrimony and rancor of the world governments' immediate response to Bernanke's announcement of QE-2. There are two aspects of this reaction. One is that it will pejoratively complicate and otherwise affect political and diplomatic relations of the United States with

other foreign governments. The other is that many of these governments are talking about economic reprisals. I wonder if Bernanke had any notion of the diplomatic and economic damage that his QE-2 announcement would cause.

Not only are various governments angry, but the the peoples of these countries are also very upset. Who knows how many will not vacation in the US, not fly in US airplanes, or boycott goods of US origin. I know that many will say that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but if you get enough mole hills, you'll have a mountain!

The goals of reprisal will be to replace the US dollar as the global currency wherever possible, and to minimize its use where it can't be replaced. And money has many uses. For example, when bribing foreign government officials, the CIA may need to pay the bribe in Chinese yaun rather than in good old American dollars.

One country that had a very subdued reaction to Bernanke's announcement is China, which is the one country that has the most to lose from Bernanke's currency manipulation disguised as an economic stimulus. The Chinese spokesman said "China will act in its own best interest". This seems like an empty non sequitur--of course China will act in its own best interests. But Chinese diplomats are very clever people and do not waste words. The message they are sending Bernanke and the USA is: "China will act in its own best interest, and this will do a great deal of harm to the economic and world political interests of the United States".

05 Nov 10, 00:34
Big Ben

Big Ben will destroy China. There's one and only one weapon to defeat "fixed exchange rate", and that's depreciation.

China will learn soon enough.

Ben vs China. No American has the ball and or with the sack to take on China.

Go Ben....!

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Biggest Debt Bomb in History