When Doves Laugh: 4 Weeks Until The Quiet Coup In The Fed Gives QE3 A Green Light
While the world continues to be hypnotically captivated with every word out of Europe, the ongoing fiasco in the insolvent socialist continent is a welcome diversion from our own issues here in the US, which as we noted yesterday, has not "decoupled" from the rest of the world's woes but merely is "lagging." After all the European recession is now guaranteed, and no matter how it is spun it will never amount to a positive GDP event for the US, even more when considering that the PBoC's recent resumption of monetary loosening will take at least several quarters to be felt globally. But a lag to what? Why 2012 of course, and specifically the January 24-25, 2012 Fed statement when as SocGen pointed out the Fed is most likely to announce yet another $600 billion episode of quantitative easing. But why then? Why not at the December 13 meeting, the topic of Fed telegraph Jon Hilsenrath's latest piece, according to which the Fed will soon emphasize that it will never hike rates and as a result collapse all refi activity because who wants to go into a 30-year fixed at 4% when it will be available at 2% 3 months later, and at 0% 6 months after that? Simple: the Fed's balance of power is about to shift substantially. With under 30 days left in 2011, the current roster of 4 rotating voting Fed governors is about to be swept out, only to be replaced with 4 new ones. Yet as the chart below from SocGen shows, the rotation will probably be the most dramatic in Fed history as 3 die hard Hawks (and 1 dove) are eliminated only to be replaced with a panel which is almost exclusively Dovish. In fact, at the end of the day the only modest Hawk on the Fed's voting committee will be Richmond Fed's Jeffrey Lacker (the only member to vote against the drop in FX swap line rates), and even he in the past has shown his dovish wings. Which means that for all intents and purposes, the major delay in global events, and market uncertainty, merely has to last until the end of the year when the doves take over. Furthermore to anyone who will point out that in 2012 virtually every single Hawk will be mysteriously out of the voting rotation, all we can say is: "you are correct." And if Europe or Iran or China or any other event serves as a welcome distraction for a few more weeks until the Fed once again does what it does best (and only), so be it.
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