Goodbye Operation Twist, Hello QE X+1
Remember when the Chairman did a quick drive by with the much price in Operation Twist, and the market came, saw, and plunged? That was a week ago? Two? Well, as we have been predicting since December 2010, that was merely the appetizer, or as we phrased it the same as last year's July QE Lite to last year's August QE 2. Confirming both our speculation, and the realization that Bernanke knows only how to print more money and nothing else, were his first public remarks since the launch of Op. Twist, at a Cleveland Fed forum last night in which he said that "the central bank might need to ease monetary policy further if inflation or inflation expectations fall significantly... Bernanke indicated a willingness to push deeper into the realm of unconventional policy if economic growth remains anemic. ""If inflation falls too low or inflation expectations fall too low, that would be something we have to respond to because we do not want deflation," Bernanke said. The comment was made in response to a question about a recent decline in market-based inflation expectations, which policymakers see as a good gauge of future inflation trends." And since the key "deflationary" metric that he looks at, as wrong as it may be, is the stock market, looks for stocks to resume trading with schizophrenic abandon, surging ever higher on increasingly bad economic data. Of which we will have a lot.
More from Reuters:
It is something that we're going to be watching very carefully,"
Bernanke said in response to questions from the audience at a forum
sponsored by the Cleveland Fed.
In an effort to stanch the deepest recession in generations and help the recovery, the Fed not only slashed benchmark interest rates to effectively zero, but also more than tripled its balance sheet to around $2.9 trillion.
Despite these measures, growth has remained quite soft, averaging less than 1 percent on an annual basis in the first half of the year. Bernanke signaled he remains concerned about risks to the economy, which the Fed described as "significant" in its September policy statement.
"We have a lot of problems both in terms of recovery and in terms of longer-term growth," he said.
Essentially the Chairman has just acknowledged that a few short days after Op Twist was launched it has already been a failure, just as Zero Hedge predicted well in advance of its formal launch, as consumers are now merely awaiting even lower interest rates before they refinance. After all if Bernanke is dead set on demonstrating he is insane (in an Einsteinian sense), mortgage borrowers will be more than happy to wait him out on his latest move to make the 30 Year mortgage negative.