Quantitative Easing

Steve H. Hanke's picture

Ever since the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) began to consider raising the federal funds rate, which it eventually did in December 2015, a cottage industry has grown up around taper talk. Will the Fed raise rates, or won’t it? Each time a consensus congeals around the answer to that question, all the world’s markets either soar or dive.

The Inevitability Of Unintended Consequences

Why central planning efforts will ultimately backfire - Anyone involved with managing projects, people or systems knows that the only thing that can be planned with absolute certainty is that things will never go 100% according to plan. History is full of examples where governments' best-laid plans failed in spectacular fashion, exacerbating the very problems they were intending to solve. Here are a few of our favorites...

Wall Street Is Falling Off A Cliff (And The Bottom Is A Long Way Down)

For the past 50 or so years, the quickest way for a sharp young sociopath to get rich has been to join an investment bank or hedge fund. The former were riding a “regulatory capture” gravy train that became ever-more-lucrative as new government agencies morphed into subsidiaries of Wall Street. Said another way, when financial assets are being artificially inflated by excessive liquidity, it’s easy to make money by shuffling this ever-appreciating inventory back and forth, and to look very smart while doing so. But those days are ending with a bang...

Chaos & Volatility Is On The Rise

Things are getting ‘weird’ out there if you’re trying to be polite, and downright 'chaotic' if you're being blunt. Everywhere we look, we see signs that the systems that support us are breaking down.

The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Today we look back to the recent past with singleness of purpose.  Context and edification for the present economy is what we’re after.  We have questions... How come the recovery has been so weak?  Why is it that, nearly seven years after the official end of the Great Recession, the economy’s still mired in a soft muddy quagmire?  Squinting, focusing, and refocusing, there’s one particular week that rises above all others.

Citi Asks: "Are Investors Beginning To Price In QE4?"

"My conjecture is that investors have begun to price out June/July hiking risk they are beginning to reject the view that there is a high?probability fed funds path that is as shallow as the market is pricing in.  Before you get to negative rates you would have the hail Mary of QE4 which would act mainly to push down long term yields. In the past the prospect of QE supported equity markets, but there is so much skepticism at this point that the equity market reaction is negligible and the brunt of the concerns are falling on USD and long?term yields."

"If..."

If the world’s economies were really out of intensive care, why would ultra-radical monetary policies like helicopter money be increasingly debated at the highest level of governments? Also, how come 70% of Americans believe the US economy is on the wrong course? And why do almost half of US citizens admit they couldn’t come up with $400 to meet an unexpected need? Yes, I know why ask why? And it is what is, and a bunch of other clichés. But this isn’t normal, it isn’t healthy, and - at least in the opinion of this author—it isn’t going to end well.

The Cult Of Central Banking Is Dead In The Water

So what is to be done, as Lenin once queried? In a word it is this. Fire the Fed. Attend to supply side policy. Let market capitalism do the rest. The cult of central banking is dead in the water.

Why Canada's Oil Industry May Never Be The Same

It is increasingly certain that the future will not be like the past. Previous downturns have been equally devastating but the primary causes eventually reversed themselves; low commodity prices recovered and damaging government policies were rescinded. This recovery will be different for a variety of reasons which will combine to cap growth, opportunity and profits, even if oil and gas prices spike. The following major changes appear permanent...

What If The BOJ Disappoints Tonight: How To Trade It

The biggest argument for a BOJ disappointment is that with the G7 meeting in Japan in on month on 26–27 May 2016, it’s unlikely that Japanese policymakers will want to draw attention yet again to the idea that they are in the business of manipulating the JPY lower. After all the most recent G20 meeting once again confirmed that absent "disorderly moves" in the Yen, the US would frown on any attempt to dramatically manipulate its currency lower.

One More Casualty Of The 9/11 Farce - The Petrodollar

It’s been about 15 years now since passenger airliners struck the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, and we are still suffering the consequences of that day, though perhaps not in the ways many Americans might believe. The 9/11 attacks were billed by the Bush Administration as a “wake-up call” for the U.S., and neocons called it the new Pearl Harbor. But instead of it being an awaking, the American public was led further into blind ignorance. Clearly, after 15 years of disastrous policy, it is time to admit that the U.S. response to 9/11 has damaged us far more than the actual attacks ever could.

Pimco Economist Has A Stunning Proposal To Save The Economy: The Fed Should Buy Gold

"In the context of today’s paralyzed political-fiscal landscape how silly is it to suggest the Fed purchase a significantly large quantity of gold bullion at a substantially greater price than today’s free-market level, perhaps $5,000 an ounce?  Admittedly, this suggestion is almost too outrageous to post under the PIMCO logo, but NIRP surely would have elicited a similar reaction a decade ago. But upon reflection, it could be an elegant solution since it flips the boxes on a foreign currency “prisoner’s dilemma”. Most critically, a massive gold purchase has the potential to significantly boost inflationary expectations, both domestic and foreign."

Futures, Crude Unchanged Ahead Of Draghi As Parabolic Move In Steel, Iron Ore Continues

One day after stocks were this close from hitting new all time highs on what have been either ok earnings, if looking at non-GAAP data, or atrocious earnings, based on GAAP, and where any oil headline is now immediately translated as bullish by the oil algos, so far futures are relatively flat, while European stocks were at their moments ago in anticipation of the latest ECB announcement due out in just one hour.  However, unlike last month's "quad-bazooka", this time the market expects far less from Draghi. “Having pulled put the monetary bazooka in March, the market is sensibly expecting no further policy measures from the ECB,”