Skip to comments.
QE2 a Y2K?
| May 14, 2011
| David Malpass
Posted on 05/14/2011 7:26:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
Concerns about the end of QE2 have put downward pressure on equities and bond yields. We think this will ease.
- We expect the consensus outlook to improve as it did in the face of Y2K. Like the June 30 end of QE2, Y2K crash warnings had a date certain, January 1, 2000, to worry about, causing months of hand-wringing due to the uncertainty. Equities ended up rallying over 15% in the final three months of 1999 and went higher in following months. We expect a substantial flow from bonds to equities in coming months as the growth outlook improves, inflation rises and the uncertainty over the end of QE2 is finally resolved.
- The $16 billion 30-year bond auction had the weakest number of bids per bond since November. We think this signals a decline in risk aversion and a weakening of the bond squeeze that has dominated bond yields in recent weeks (see Bond Squeeze Nearly Over on May 3.) Short-term interest rates and Treasury bond yields were being squeezed down by what we think were temporary factors, giving a false impression of market-based pessimism and risk aversion and a disconnect between falling bond yields and rising equities. Several factors caused what we think was an artificial month-long decline in bond yields from April 11 through May 6 including the April risk that the $14.3 trillion debt limit might have suspended Treasury issuance while the Fed was still buying heavily but due to strong April tax receipts and technical factors, Treasury now has headroom to continue regular deficit funding into August, lifting the squeeze (see a list of the temporary squeeze factors in the attachment).
The April low point in the consensus outlook had a long list of concerns beyond QE2 and falling bond yields. These included the oil price spike, the ECBs rate hike on April 7, Japans severe crisis, Chinas aggressive monetary tightenings, the first quarter weather-related letdown in U.S. GDP and the deterioration in peripheral European debt markets. While each of this is a negative, we dont think they will derail the global expansion, leaving room for an improvement in the outlook (see Tall Wall of Worry; Good Second Half Outlook on April 15.)
We note several positive developments:
- Retail stocks are rising. Consumer credit has increased six months in a row (through March) after 20 months of shrinkage. We disagree with the view that consumer debt will constrain consumption the key variable in consumption is the employment climate which is gradually improving. Todays retail sales data was a bit weaker-than consensus, but there were upward revisions to previous months and the net result is consistent with our expectation of over 3% real growth in the second quarter. Retail sales are up 7.6% yoy. Excluding autos, gas and building materials (which is an input for GDP), sales are up 5.5% yoy.
- April tax receipts were strong. This suggests economic strength. More importantly, it helped Treasury delay the debt limit problem beyond the Feds final QE2 bond purchases in June. We think the timing change for the debt limit increase broke the bond squeeze and will reduce the sensitivity of financial markets to the debt limit increase.
- April payroll data was strong, consistent with todays sizeable upward revisions in February and March retail sales data.
- Bearish sentiment and continuing confusion about QE2 provides upside for example, some analysts are asserting that M2 growth will drop when QE2 ends because that Fed will stop increasing excess reserves (yet excess reserves arent part of M2).
We expect the U.S. to continue very loose monetary and fiscal policy meaning a near-zero Fed funds rate and over $3.7 trillion per year in federal spending. We look for a moderate 3%-3.5% U.S. growth rate in coming quarters -- thats disappointing given the severity of the recession and wont create the surge in small-business jobs needed to pull the unemployment rate quickly below 8% but is fast enough to dispel the QE2 concerns and QE3 predictions.
TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: david; davidmalpass; malpass; theqe2; y2000
posted on 05/14/2011 7:26:30 AM PDT
posted on 05/14/2011 7:37:00 AM PDT
Thank God we didn’t elect this jackass to the Senate in NY. This is the kind of conventional ‘wisdom’ spouting dillweed who will be wandering the streets and scrounging for food one day, wondering where it all went wrong.
posted on 05/14/2011 7:38:10 AM PDT
(The worst is behind us. Unfortunately it is really well endowed.)
I just read his Bio, you maybe correct with that description.
posted on 05/14/2011 7:55:05 AM PDT
"We look for a moderate 3%-3.5% U.S. growth rate in coming quarters "
What's truly sad is the fact the vast majority of the American People and economic writers don't understand the implications of this most important and salient fact: GDP includes all government expenditures and all "purchases" of assets by the Fed.
Take away $2tril in Fed purchases and $1.7tril in deficit spending and you reduce GDP by approximately 15-20%.
That's a deflationary depression in anybody's book.
Folks can believe the happy talk coming from all quarters of the financial society, but the fact of the matter is they're just priming the pump so that they can get out and leave you in.
Think about it.
posted on 05/14/2011 9:28:12 AM PDT
(War Criminal #18)
When Bush was in office, we had genuine economic prosperity, yet these same idiots were wailing “Doom and Gloom!”, “Worst Economy since the Great Depression!”.
Now, with Obama, having already destroyed the Free Enterprise system and replaced it with National Socialist Crony Capitalism, it's all “Wonderful growth and recovery.”, or the “Administration's policies are working!”
posted on 05/14/2011 9:38:48 AM PDT
(Always Remember You're Unique.......(Just Like everyone Else.))
Click the Pic
Equities ended up rallying over 15% in the final three months of 1999 and went higher in following months.
And then collapsed.
Anyone remember NASDAQ 5200 -> 1500?
Consumer credit has increased six months in a row...
It's my understanding that's pretty-much all "student loans".
April tax receipts were strong. This suggests economic strength.
I think it suggests that April 15 falls in April this year.
posted on 05/14/2011 6:04:38 PM PDT
(The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual
posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its
management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the
exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson