Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Who is Fed up?

Warning - this is a rant. The takeaway for your portfolio is to remain on high alert.  As trader friends of mine said after talking with BATS, another flash crash is inevitable.

Also, this rant is not meant to endorse any political view because all of them suckle at the teat of hypocrisy.  Vote for me and I'll tell you whatever you want to hear!

Here is a quote from this morning's Quick Takes Pro newsletter:
The prospect of the Fed keeping the free money pump a-pumpin' was like the shock they used to start up the former Veep's new ticker. Fed Head Ben Bernanke spoke and stocks took off. Of course, the dollar tanked and gold now looks like it has finally bounced off its long-term trendline.

There were two other bits of news although free Fedbucks trumped them.
I know I am totally fed up with the Fed. Zero percent interest rates are not boosting the economy.  The little guy is not getting that mortgage. The dollar remains weak although its ugly sister the euro is making it look better. That helps keep gas prices high (yes, I know it is not the only reason). "I don't care, Mr. Little Guy, core inflation is very low. Put some algae in your tank and off you go." 

And who can borrow money from the Fed for free and invest it in Treasuries for a cool 2% risk-free spread? Why the evil banks! No wonder they camp out in Zuccotti Park.

While I, as part of the 99%, sympathize, the villains are not the banks. They are just acting as they should when offered a bounty. Do you begrudge the lion for killing the zebra? The occupiers are focused on the wrong entity.

Who is engineering the problem? It is the Fed. And it is the rest of the government - both side of the aisle - that are bloating the debt. Be mad at the entity that is giving the lions food, clothing and free iPads. "We are feeding the lions so they don't eat the zebras and we do not understand why there are more Zebra killings."  Uh, stronger lions? More lions?

And not only do I not like established politicians, I am saddened to say I am fed up with the Tea Party. The mission was noble but they caved to the establishment.

So, let the stock market rally continue. I know I have been fighting it and it may be painful for weeks to come but I am so convinced that one day - maybe next week, maybe in the summer - there will be a very nasty sell-off and this time the markets will not respond to more free money. Free is never free.


Will said...


I'm pretty shocked that the Fed is still dovish with the S&P over 1400... I can understand why they lowered rates to zero during the credit crisis to keep the system liquid, but at this point, when are they going to pull the plug? It seems like Ben won't be satisfied until they've inflated another bubble to replace the housing bubble. I also question the strategy of easing during a rise. It's one thing to ease aggressively during a decline; eventually the markets will bottom and the Fed can claim it just took some time for the money to make it's way into the system, such as in 2008-2009. It may be a tactical mistake to ease during a rise. If the market does peak while they're easing, it could destroy the illusion that they can manage the market.

-Will L.

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