Thursday, September 22, 2011
by Graham Summers
I’ve been warning for weeks now that the Fed would disappoint with its September meeting. And boy did it.
As I forecast, the Fed didn’t announce QE 3. In fact, it didn’t announce any new policy of note. Instead it is simply reshuffling its holdings to focus more on the long end of the bond markets.
On top of this, the Fed announced it will only be moving roughly $400 billion of its portfolio around. This is the smallest major intervention the Fed has announced since it began implementing QE in 2009 (QE 1 was $1.25 trillion while QE 2 was $600 billion). Indeed, this move is on par with the Fed’s implementation of QE lite which to date has been about $300 billion give or take in scope.
Even more striking, while announcing this disappointing move, the Fed downgraded its view of the economy stating, “there are significant downside risks to the economic outlook.”
Previously, any admission of economic deterioration from the Fed resulted in the US Dollar selling off sharply as traders expected additional easing/ printing. This time around, the market senses that the Fed has disappointed and that the Fed’s move is largely symbolic more than anything else.
The end result of this: the market is Crashing just as I warned. The S&P 500 has gone from 1,200+ to 1,136, a 6% drop, in the overnight session.
We’re just getting started here. Today we got a confirmed SELL on my proprietary Crash indicator. This is the SAME indicator that registered before the 1987 Crash, the Tech Crash, and the 2008 collapse.
It’s just triggered again… which means that today’s sell off is JUST the beginning of what’s coming.
Yes, the GREAT COLLAPSE has begun. The markets will be going to new lows (below the March 2009 lows) in the coming months.
We’re also going to be seeing major banks go under, market crashes, food shortages, government shutdowns, and SYSTEMIC FAILURE.
Yes, I believe that before this mess ends, the financial system as a whole will have collapsed. What’s coming is going to make 2008 look like a joke.
Many people will lose everything in this mess. Yes, everything. The US is going to be defaulting on its debt, paper currencies around the world will fail. It’s going to be a dark dark time.
By Jeff Harding
The markets didn’t like the Fed’s announcement today. When the FOMC announcement hit the tape at about 2:21 p.m., the market nose-dived. I think they were expecting more, such as a lower FF rate, or some QE, or reducing interest paid on bank reserves. Alas.
Here is a chart of the S&P 500 today. You can see when the Fed announcement hit the tape:
The S&P 500 Financials Index (S5FINL) fell to the lowest level since July 2009. Bank of America Corp. tumbled 7.5 percent after Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the bank’s long-term debt rating. Wells Fargo & Co. also had its long-term rating cut, wiping out an earlier gain and dragging the stock down 3.9 percent. Citigroup Inc. (C) fell 5.2 percent as Moody’s cut its short-term debt rating. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. closed below $100 for the first time since March 2009.
Costs to protect debt from Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo rose after the downgrades by Moody’s, which said U.S. support is less likely in an emergency. Credit-default swaps tied to Bank of America added about 40 basis points from yesterday to 375 basis points as of 3:41 p.m. in New York, according to broker Phoenix Partners Group. Swaps on Wells Fargo jumped to the highest since July 2009, climbing 17 basis points to 143 basis points, Phoenix prices show. Contracts on Citigroup rose 19 to 250, according to data provider CMA.
If you were holding long-term bonds, you did great:
This is Operation Twist in action where savers get hammered but speculators do great. At a 3% yield, a 30-year bond holder who is a saver looking for long-term security and yield is losing money daily with the official CPI at 3.6%. Congratulations Chairman Bernanke.
In case no one at the Fed thought about it, more cheap money won’t help the economy. It will help the government though as the cost of funds gets better and better for them. With a few more rounds of QE, then price inflation will make it even better as they pay down their debt with cheaper dollars. Meanwhile, massive amounts of capital are consumed by savers (i.e., destroyed).
Interest rates have been low since 2008 and yet the economy stagnates. Perhaps it isn’t the case that cheap money is what is needed today. If it was, you would think that three years of ZIRP would be a long enough trial period for this idea. So, why does the Fed persist with this failed policy?
Answer: Other than QE, they have no idea what to do since everything they have tried has failed. Next stop: QE3.