The Fed Knows It's Created Another Bubble and Is Managing Down Expectations

Phoenix Capital Research's picture



Having pumped the system with liquidity non-stop since the Crash of 2008, the Fed now realizes it’s in big trouble and needs to manage down expectations of further stimulus.


As we noted earlier this year, the Fed, while attempting to appear committed to endless money printing via its QE 3 and QE 4 programs, was in fact decidedly split on whether to commit to more as well as the risks inherent to additional QE. Indeed, the Fed FOMC minutes indicate that some Fed members were concerned about whether QE even worked as a monetary policy.


Below are the notes from the Fed’s December 2012 FOMC minutes (the meeting during which the Fed announced QE 4). I’ve added highlights to emphasize the shift in tone.


With regard to the possible costs and risks of purchases, a number of participants expressed the concern that additional purchases could complicate the Committee's efforts to eventually withdraw monetary policy accommodation, for example, by potentially causing inflation expectations to rise or by impairing the future implementation of monetary policy.


Participants also discussed the implications of continued asset purchases for the size of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. Depending on the path for the balance sheet and interest rates, the Federal Reserve's net income and its remittances to the Treasury could be significantly affected during the period of policy normalization.


 Participants noted that the Committee would need to continue to assess whether large purchases were having adverse effects on market functioning and financial stability. They expressed a range of views on the appropriate pace of purchases, both now and as the outlook evolved. It was agreed that both the efficacy and the costs would need to be carefully monitored and taken into account in determining the size, pace, and composition of asset purchases.


There are three key implications here:


  1. The Fed acknowledged that QE causes inflation expectations to rise (red text)
  2. The Fed was divided on the efficacy of QE (green text)
  3. The Fed was not committed to employing QE forever despite its public declarations to that effect (blue text)


This shift in tone went largely unnoticed by the media earlier this year. However, the implications are very serious. By way of explanation, let’s quickly review the Fed’s primary moves in the post-Crisis era.


In 2008 the Fed had its back against the wall in terms of saving the system. Since that time every new Fed intervention (verbal or monetary) has been aimed at propping up the Too Big To Fail Banks and pushing the stock market higher.


The first wave of this came via QE 1 and QE 2 in which the Fed collectively monetized nearly $2 trillion in assets. However, once QE 2 ended in 2011, we noted the Fed began to realize that it could get the “positive” effects of additional stimulus (higher asset prices) without actually having to engage in more stimulus, simply by issuing verbal interventions at critical moments.


Thus, between QE 2’s end (June 2011) and the start of QE 3 (September 2012), the Fed became increasingly reliant on verbal intervention as opposed to actual money printing.


During this period, any time the markets began to dip, a Fed official, usually an uber-Dove such as NY Fed President Bill Dudley or Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, would indicate that the Fed was ready to act aggressively if need be and VOOM the markets would take off again.


This changed in May 2012, when the entire financial system began to implode courtesy of Spain. At that time the Fed switched back into aggressive monetary policy mode, first promising to provide more QE before launching QE 3 in September 2012 and then QE 4 in December 2012.


Unlike previous QE programs, which had definitive timelines, QE 3 and QE 4 were open-ended, meaning that they can continue forever. This was the Great Global Rig we referred to earlier this year. And while it did push the stock market higher, it did next to nothing for the US economy.


Which brings us to today. The US economy is contracting sharply again (without the massaged data inflation, real GDP growth would have been -1% last quarter) right as stocks close in on new all-time highs (the S&P 500 and Dow) or have already broken to new highs (the Russell 2000).


This is happening at a time when earnings are falling (despite companies booking profits), the economy is slowing, and stocks are closing in on all-time highs.


In plain terms, the stock market has become totally detached from economic realities. There is a term for when asset prices become detached from fundamentals, it’s called “A BUBBLE.”


THIS is the reason the Fed is beginning to shift its tone. It realizes it has blown another bubble and that we’re likely headed for another Crash. And this time around the Fed will be totally out of ammo to stop it.


Individual investors need to take steps to prepare themselves for this risk in advance.


For more market insights and investment ideas, visit us at


Best Regards,


Graham Summers




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
HowardBeale's picture

"The Fed Knows It's Created Another Bubble and Is Managing Down Expectations"

Correction: The Fed knows the artifcial ramp has extracted as much speculative wealth as possible from the  little people (who's gonna buy now?); and it is now being pressured to reverse the direction of ALL markets so as to allow the hedge fund oligarchs to  steal the remaining value of real capital by underpricing it and allowing buyouts of everything profitable at pennies on the dollar. And that is to say, expect S&P 500, then most everything profitable to be taken private. Here it comes suckers. 

grunk's picture

"Bubbles" Bernanke.

Like Glinda the Good Witch.

Blue Dog's picture

We don't know the Fed's intentions even from the minutes. Maybe they're planning QE to infinity and only talking about slowing that down. Or maybe they'll suddenly quit QE and jack up interest rates to crash the economy so Obama can declare martial law. We just don't know.

CDNX fan's picture

Just keep betting WITH the "house" until they bring in the rookie croupier. Graham, if I had listened to you for the past four years I would not be driving this Benz. Well, I might be but someone else would own it and barking orders.

steveo77's picture

Kill List - Midwest
Well if the President can have a Kill List, why can't the good guys have a Kill List.

Here are the biggest nuclear threats in the Midwest.    They are some of the oldest, growing up around Chicago and the famous Argonne National Lab who did open air experiments to intentionally make reactors go critical and explode.   Seriously, Mr. Gunderson pointed that one out to me.   See the video at the bottom for documentation of this "Experiment".       Nuke plants can blow up like minor nuclear bombs, the proof is in the video.    The pro-nukers hate this one.

Here is the Midwest map and explanation.

My kill list is, in order of priority, but will take any opportunistic weaknesses that present.

Palisades (Clunker with lots of problems run by Slumlord Entergy, on Lake Michigan)
Lasalle (2 Boiling Water like Fuku, even a lightning strike just took them down)
Cook (On Lake Michigan, 37 YO)
Point Beach (on Lake Michigan, 41 YO, and huge uprate to 118%)
Dresden (2 Boiling Water like Fuku, 41YO and huge uprate to 117%)
Quad Cities (2 Boiling Water like Fuku, 39 YO and huge uprate to 117%)
Monticello (Boiling Water like Fuku, 42 YO)

HowardBeale's picture

You forgot:

-The legislative branch;

-The judicial branch;

-The executive branch.

Any self-respecting People with an interest in self-preservation would have started with the aforementioned criminal three.

Winston Smith 2009's picture

"The Fed was not committed to employing QE forever despite its public declarations to that effect"

ROTFL!  They're not "committed" (although they should be, to the trash heap of bogus economic theories), they're trapped!  They have no exit from the ZIRP trap they've created that won't cause the huge leveraged Ponzi scheme to come crashing down.

bill1102inf's picture

Anyone who has NOT listened to the fed is an abject moron! They have telegraphed what they are going to do AND what the outcome will be since 2008. Have you looked at the SP500 chart!?!?!? Does POMO ring a bell? They TOLD YOU the market would go up and that they WOULD manipulate it.  Had you opened your ears plugged with gold dust you could have made a tremendously larger amount of money in SPY/SPX/ES than in almost any other fi.  

Reci's picture

Do you understand what that makes you?  You're a self-serving lackey of an insane ship Captain whose predecessor had run the boat aground and now he tells everyone to gorge themselves on the food reserves as surely everything will be OK and as long as many are fat and happy they won't start a mutiny due to the terrible state of affairs that bad leadership has bestowed upon them.  So, while ignorant fools like yourself feast your fat selfish ass on everybody's rations in return for their support of the Captain's policies and direction, the rational minded people silently suffer knowing that the Captain is making things worse long term to benefit the short term all the while hoping a miracle will save the day.  Thus, you are not only as guilty as Bernanke for the continuing decline of the state of this "ship" but you are incapable of objective analysis just like all the top percent of wealthy benefactors because you POS have been happily feasting on the crews food to such excess that you can't even perceive the problem.  My advice to you is to just stfu and pretend like you're one of the suffering crew else find yourself a target of the crew's rage when the seams of this facade begin to split wide open like your pants that will show whom has been feeding at the trough at everyone's future expense.

HowardBeale's picture

You're right about that, though hindsight--in this instance, where the black swan has fortunaltely for you been in hibernation--is jus that: "Na na na na na. I told you so." Get humble before you get fucked, as you've just been lucky in about a million different ways, none of which the Fed had any control over. 

Aside from that oh-so-obvious point--as you are into the glaringly obvious assurances--did you buy Apple last year with that presumption in mind...

Savyindallas's picture

The wisdom of hindsight  -they could just as easily have been wrong or lying  -our warmongering foreign policy is probably just as responsible  -everyone else is totally intimidated in to playing along with the Fed -they are buying time. It could all blow up tomorrow. If you think this will end well  -go ahead and keep believing the criminal Bernake.

PiltdownMan's picture

That is true. Bernanke signaled EXACTLY what they were going to do!

HowardBeale's picture

And Bernanke is God! Surely he will always be able to control everything. In fact, FUCK GOD! Replace that faggot with Bernanke!

oddjob's picture

What other alternatives do you have for protecting one's own wealth? offer no options, just statist bullshit on how austerity will work out...fuck you!....only an abject moron would trust his or hers wealth with a cheating scumbag lying bankster.

Kina's picture

what happens to USD, exports, markets, business and Consumer confidence, unemployment etc should the Fed decide to cut its printing in half?


honestann's picture

Anyone who takes what the federal reserve says seriously is a fool.  Everyone with 0.01% of a brain should clearly understand that what the federal reserve says is entirely for purposes of manipulation and/or PR.  I mean, the federal reserve even admits this openly these days.

That doesn't mean anyone should trade without noticing what the federal reserve says, because lots of people respond to what the federal reserve says, which moves the non-markets of today.  But anyone thinking in terms of the real economy can completely discount what the federal reserve says, because it is nothing but manipulation.

The only purpose the federal reserve has is to keep their owners in power, massively rich, and protected from their own mistakes and corruption.  To do this, they have the two-way scam with government that allows government to become larger and more powerful without any limits whatsoever.  Which means, the goals and purpose of the predators-DBA-federal-reserve and predators-DBA-government are the same... complete tyranny.

While there is some chance the federal reserve will raise interest rates someday, if they decide they just can't afford not to for some reason (to kill demand for physical gold, for example), they will continue to lend as much fiat, fake, fraud, fiction, fantasy, fractional-reserve debt-note bits to the predators-DBA-government as those predators want.  They will finance tyranny, no matter how much it costs, and no matter what the consequences.

algol_dog's picture

Is it just me, or does everyone seem pessimistic and negative lately here on ZH ...?

Savyindallas's picture

We have reason to be  -the end is near.

Rathmullan's picture

Unfortunately "bubble creation", wittingly or unwittingly, may be the only policy tool the fed has left in a de-industrialized economy. Low borrowing cost has only enabled government to continue profligate spending which generally results in resource  allocation that is counter to that which Adam's invisible hand would dictate (and thus becomes a drag on the economy longer term). Meanwhile, very few publicly traded companies have taken advantage of the low borrowing cost and rich stock p/e's created by the fed's near zero interest rate policies to actually expand or upgrade their plant capital simply because the final demand has yet to materialize. Instead, the private sector has been refinancing debt in an attempt to increase margins or to expand debt levels only to use the proceeds to repurchase their shares at rather expensive prices. The truly shareholder friendly corporate action would be to increase dividends or to issue special dividends and let their shareholders decide on whether or not they wish to increase their allocation to corporate equities.    

If this economy continues to grow at a low rate which, may well only be thanks to ever expanding government deficit spending, then it is appropriate for the fed to questions its seemingly knee jerk policy response - a policy response that may have been appropriate in decades past but not in a more global economy and certainly not in an economy that is stucturally impaired by an over indulgence in leverage. One would hope that after an unprecented $2.5 trillion is financial asset purchases over 4.5 years and no sustainable recovery insight that the fed would "man up" and acknowledge that this may not be their "father's economy". That would not only be the right and honorable thing to do but the minimally responsible thing to do when the consequences of continuing its balance sheet expansion has the potential to be disasterous. 

The American public, if  given the option, may well prefer 5 more years of no or low economic growth  if that avoids the the inqequitable wealth transfers that accompany moderate to high inflation. And what's wrong with a little deflation?: It hurts the profitability of the banks and if that is the primary criteria for engaging in risky monetary policy then Congress and the Courts need to review the Federal Reserve's charter. 

It seems fairly obvious that the fed's easy money policy has bolstered equity prices and not just by squashing the returns on other investment alternatives but by creating excess liquidity in the financial system. But that in and of itself is indicative that the fed's policy is not having the hoped for effect. And yes, then we are back to doing the right thing. Man up FED!


Herdee's picture

And if she tumbles down quickly it'll be what has long been hoped for by traders.What I mean by that is market regulation has become very tight and focused.Everyone's bitching about Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley and their liabilities and for good reason.You've got to be clean now.There's a very strong change in tone by the government.They need money and the Banks along with their Brokerage arms are being watched very closely.What makes the down-side that's coming so attractive is the clamp down and change of rules concerning naked short selling(the electronic counterfeiting of stock).Shorting(the borrow) has to be done very cleanly now.So,in my opinion,when she comes down under the bubble or blow-off top(which we are coming close to),the way the drop is going to happen is going to play-out differently without a lot of illegal activity.It's called "the elevator".Going down?

OpTwoMistic's picture

Yes      OK.  Is it over?


Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

What does "it" mean? The QE portion only, or the end of the whole ponzi game?


Thank you for playing and hope you enjoyed yourself! Come back again.

DeadFred's picture

End of June or early July

verum quod lies's picture

They release minutes to influence expectations, not to tell the truth or reveal their true thoughts and feelings. For example, they have systematically threatened to withdraw QE every time they increase it. Watch what they do not what they say. They and just about every other central bank of any size is trapped in perpetual money printing until the system blows, period. Hell, it took them until about 2007-2008 to even allow people to use the world bubble in public without laughing and ridiculing the person who might suggest this or that market was in a bubble (i.e., expect for precious metals which may be the only market they constantly indicate is a bubble).

bubblemania's picture

Don't kid yourselff, the FED has plenty of ammo left. Their cap on the balance sheet is probably closer to $6T and they can push all those the bank reserves into the economy by taking away the interest rated the banks get or do what Super Mario talked about last week and go negative on their asses. The recent speak is definitely going the other way and the FED appears to be concerned. They most likely have triggers points set-up in their models that recently went off in the credit markets (junk), leverage ratios and perhaps even equities. That coupled with the circus in Japan and the suprise move out of Australia. So it's likely, the threat of tapering will continue over the month - until the June meeting. If markets dot pull back by then they will mosst likely start reducing purchases by 30B/month - MBS. 

Dingleberry's picture

Repeat after me class:


"There is no inflation until there is (non-banker) wage inflation....their is no inflation until there is (non banker) wage inflation....."

So when the Dow hits 15k, McD's drops their Angus burger due to cost, tuiition and medical goes up double digits, rents and house prices go up, etc. etc. etc. etc.......

And your quality of life (or someone you know) keeps getting shittier & shittier......none of that matters.

"It's all good, bitchez!"-----The Bernank

cynicalskeptic's picture

If the Fed runs out of ammo, no worry, the US military is still well armed and equiped.  The US will use its military to hold onto the perks of Reserve Currency status for as long as possible.  The neo-con wet dream of a US dominated Middle East is still being pursued - even at the risk of a region wide conflagration (or World War).  Besides, war is always a great diversion when things are in the crapper at home - keeps the populace focused EXTERNALLY instead of trying to oust their incompetent leadership.  While history has alos shown that ramoping up for conflict can also boost the economy and raise employment, that paradign may not apply to a de-industrialized America that is already quite bankrupt.  We have no savings to pay for a war and money printing for the last gtwo wars only worsened our current situation. So unless the plan is to blatantly grab other countries assets and do so quickly, we won't be gaining a great deal of time.

And when the shit does hit the fan (and eventually it WILL do so) DHS has enough ammo to make sure everyone happily adjusts to their new, far more 'minimalist' living standards - or die trying.

Those in power do not willingly relinquish it, no mattter how badly they've run things.

g speed's picture

The US military may not be all it's cracked up to be-- lots of underpaid very young volunters (mercs) and equipment that is for a good part made outside the US (resupply problems?).  If it is severly tested things may come home to roost very rapidly.  

You make good points --- +1 

Xploregon's picture

From the many differing opinions about the Hillsenrath article and the true intentions of the FED, it's all very confusing and my Kreskin Chrystal Ball is on the fritz. My question to all those out there in ZHland- Not looking from a UScentric point of view, what would be the macro effect on PM's if tapered or reactionary sporadic QE becomes the latest game plan?

Oh BTW- "F" the FED!


W T F II's picture

I disagree...Hilsenrath is a KNOWN tool of Fed communications. He does not pick a tie without their oversight.

They WANTED this message sent. The time has come to re-order the order. I believe we will see a VERY pronounced "risk-off" period, a further collapse in gold and a new World Currency Regime...all before year-end 2013.

Remember a very important factor about "kicking-the-can". When it is done against a math equation, and that equation's outcome of certainty, it SHORTENS the time to the inevitable, not lengthens it. So many pundits/experts/media have trouble with that concept. That is why I believe QE was ALWAYS about shoring up the capital and excess reserves of the largest financial institutions. QE DID NOT go into the fractional reserve system AT ALL (or very little, anyway..!!) Right now, U.S. reserves are at record highs...AND IN CASH, not 'at-risk'...AND are in U.S. $s....approaching 30% of M2 ( is "risk-off" the $ goes up substantially, above 100 on DX/DY.

The real drivers are interrelated. The Euro is BUST, and consequently it's essential derivative counter-party banks are bust. Secondly, as a result of the '08/'09 Crisis and now the Euro Crisis, the G-20 emerging economies are DONE with the $ as sole World Reserve Currency.

Draghi and Bernanke KNOW and are parties in acquiescence to the BIG FIX, which is a new Regime of IMF/World Bank administered Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) and partially backed in bullion. Each G-20 will have their own RE-CALIBRATED currencies with formulaic constructs in place. Should a country stray from the pre-sets, their SDRs are impacted by FORCE.

The Euro will be dismantled. Debts will be re-calibrated (written off) and we will roll with this system.

Bernake is not going to Jackson Hole because there will be NO Jackson Hole...EVER AGAIN...He will be busy on the 'new project'.

Gold is being intentionally pan-caked and re-distributed now for this purpose.

Coming soon to a Nation and monetary system near you... remember, it is to be PARTIALLY gold-backed. Like the Swiss USED to have (40%/SFr) up to 2000 (May)...13 years ago, if anyone believes in CYCLES...??!!


Fuku Ben's picture

We seem to be pretty much on the same page

These criminals don't make major symbolic changes to things for no reason. The Greenback isn't going 1/2 Gold for "security reasons". That's bullshit. Release date announced Oct 8, 2013

I've got strong confidence we'll see more downside between now and Oct in PM's so I'm holding back on larger buys until then

Maybe Golden Showers Ben will use his Sept Fed Press Conference to announce a PM backed US currency

Anyone that thinks whistleblower means an actual leak watch this video below. Listen to both every word she says + watch her facial expressions very carefully. It is carefully scripted acting. With the worst actors I've ever seen in my life. She is a messenger sent by her masters. Not a whistleblower. Her tells are all throughout the vid.

Does she remind anyone of someone famous?

lasvegaspersona's picture

"partially backed like the SWISS used to be"

Look to the Euro for the style of the new currencies going forward. A lot of smart people put a lot of time into designing the Euro. They hold gold MARKED TO MARKET!!

If the dollar fails the Euro is still backed by 10,800 tons of gold. The then current POG would determine the world's opinion of the currency.

This is actually great for physical gold advocates...just don't look to the dollar to tell you what gold is worth.

Poor Grogman's picture

" A lot of smart people put a lot of time into designing the Euro"

Gee I am soooooo impressed.

Fe Fi Foa the Euro is a goer.
Don't delay buy some euro-peon paper today.

Ghordius's picture

you are right, this is nothing to be impressed about. and yet the EUR is designed with this kind of environment in mind - currency wars and devaluation orgies

my advice is not to try to go long or short - it's purpose is transactional functionality and price stability, with a few "anti-speculation" wrinkles added for good measure which alas aren't "trader-friendly" at all

meanwhile I was reading on market oracle (link article) that the Cato Institute's advice to Argentina is to dollarize it's economy

I wonder what they would write if Argentina would indeed heed their advice, but choose the EUR or the Yuan instead... lol

WTFUD's picture

WTF 11
Your interpretation and insight goes a long way to explaining the reality of matters at hand and is very welcome.
However, your belief that the USSA is the all powerful machine that can dictate and control what comes after is seriously flawed.
It may be possible to subdue domestic and even euro dissent but ends there.
A combined USSA/Euro military that could could not overthrow the Taliban in Afstan with all the spent resources has no hope in hell of assuming the type of power you suggest.
Much bigger fish exist and the puppet allies would have too much on their own domestic plates to support USSA fantasy AliceInWonderland goals.
We can agree that nobody can paint the picture of the aftermath of such deluded intention but for sure USSA days as prime asskicker are over.
The bankstas euro experiment for world domination is kaput. The natives are dying in the streets as we speak and have had a stomach ( empty ) full of the horse(shit)meat.

Doctor of Reality's picture

Why else would they stock up on armored "pill boxes" for their guards... billions of bullets, thousands of fully auto battle rifles and mine resistant personal carriers with machine gun ports??? Boston was a training exercise. The wealth of the people in the "West" is being sucked to the "East", but the top of the pyramid won't change much... just a slight reshuffle. So they think? If true, it's too bad, because most plans never turn out as intended and their arrogance and greed will cause many to die needlessly.