That is my fervent prayer. But it seems like the media has other plans. Today’s special coverage on CNBC and MarketWatch gives me the feeling, in fact, the much-maligned Quantitative Easing isn’t going to get a rest, even though its long past its prime as a topic. I’m not certain why this is. Maybe it’s because they have nothing else to worry us with; like no new cases of Ebola in the “Big Apple.” To capture the hyperbole today I quote Australian stunner, co-anchor Mandy Drury, who summed up her segment today by saying, “We had a very big day today–the end of Q.E., history in the making.” I’m not sure what she was talking about (it’s not about what she says anyway). At one point after the Fed minutes were released we were down on the Dow about 100 points (less than one percent), finishing down only 32 points.
OMG!!! Things are getting better!
This is not bad, considering the negative feeding frenzy the media went into on a small change in tone taken in the Fed’s message about the economy. OMG! They were more positive on their outlook for the economy. Things are getting better out there! And, you know what that means–the Fed will run rates up and ruin everything. I’m not sure this argument really washes, but this a topic for a future post as we approach that awful day of reckoning. But, I digress. To show you how ridiculous this emphasis on the negative aspects of the withdrawal of Q.E. is, a little history lesson might be in order. Up until January 2014, the Fed had been buying a total of 85 billion dollars worth of long-dated Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities each month, about four billion per day. As a result of the “dreaded taper” that daily buy was running at the paltry sum of $600 million daily this month. This versus markets that trade, on average, at least (sometime much more) $150 billion daily. As Q.E. ended, the Fed was a tiny overbid in the market place. Also, the statement indicated no immediate plans to shrink the Fed balance sheet that Q.E. expanded. Since the beginning of the ‘taper” in January of this year, interest rates which peaked a tad over 3% on the UST 10-year, have been as low as 2.15% (mid October 2014); and, today, the 10-year went out at 2.32%. Nobody, including me, saw this as a potential outcome of tapering and closing out Quantitative Easing.
Point / Counterattack (Santelli in Rant)
Bottom line, Q.E. and the tapering thereof have had minimal market impact this year, despite what screamer, Rick Santelli, has to say in the attached clip (Bouroudjian,” Let Janet Yellen alone!”). It must be horrible to have been so completely wrong for so long. Santelli’s life must be reminiscent of the movie, “Groundhog Day.” In the meantime, his foil in the clip, Jack Bouroudjian, was spot-on in his comments.
Here are a few more snippets from CNBC and our friends at MarketWatch to give a flavor of how stupid this got. Brace yourself:
Parsing the parsers:
And here is the best (old News)–CNBC–“As the Fed leaves the bond market, here’s who will step in”
What do you think of this stuff?
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