Futures, Precious Metals Soar As Bernanke Says More "Accommodative" Policies Needed, Hints At "The New QE"
Curious why futures and PMs both soared out of the gate at 8am? Look no further than the Chairman of the Federal CTRL-Preserve who is speaking at the National Association for Business Economics and just made a very strong hint that the New QE (or is that the NEWER QE) is coming. And there are those mocking Bill Gross for saying the April FOMC would lead to the next QE announcement (something we expounded on extensively yesterday). And here is the most idiotic statement uttered by the Fed: "If this hypothesis is wrong and structural factors are in fact explaining much of the increase in long-term unemployment, then the scope for countercyclical policies to address this problem will be more limited. Even if that proves to be the case, however, we should not conclude that nothing can be done." Recall what JPM said about central planning breaking the virtuous cycle just two days ago. The Fed has just admitted it... but it does not mean that the Fed will be forced to print print print infinitely more. After all, it's all there is.
The conclusion form Bernanke's speech (link):
To sum up: A wide range of indicators suggests that the job market has been improving, which is a welcome development indeed. Still, conditions remain far from normal, as shown, for example, by the high level of long-term unemployment and the fact that jobs and hours worked remain well below pre-crisis peaks, even without adjusting for growth in the labor force. Moreover, we cannot yet be sure that the recent pace of improvement in the labor market will be sustained. Notably, an examination of recent deviations from Okun's law suggests that the recent decline in the unemployment rate may reflect, at least in part, a reversal of the unusually large layoffs that occurred during late 2008 and over 2009. To the extent that this reversal has been completed, further significant improvements in the unemployment rate will likely require a more-rapid expansion of production and demand from consumers and businesses, a process that can be supported by continued accommodative policies.
I also discussed long-term unemployment today, arguing that cyclical rather than structural factors are likely the primary source of its substantial increase during the recession. If this assessment is correct, then accommodative policies to support the economic recovery will help address this problem as well. We must watch long-term unemployment especially carefully, however. Even if the primary cause of high long-term unemployment is insufficient aggregate demand, if progress in reducing unemployment is too slow, the long-term unemployed will see their skills and labor force attachment atrophy further, possibly converting a cyclical problem into a structural one.
If this hypothesis is wrong and structural factors are in fact explaining much of the increase in long-term unemployment, then the scope for countercyclical policies to address this problem will be more limited. Even if that proves to be the case, however, we should not conclude that nothing can be done. If structural factors are the predominant explanation for the increase in long-term unemployment, it will become even more important to take the steps needed to ensure that workers are able to obtain the skills needed to meet the demands of our rapidly changing economy.
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