As the debate about whether the Fed is likely to start a QE 3 program and when rolls on, I
note that the US is witnessing a strong period of quantitative tightening which has been underway
since Feb. 2012. Specifically, the Fed has allowed a bit over $100 bil. to roll off its Bank Credit
balance. That represents a strong 3.5% tightening move and brings Fed Bank Credit about $50
bil. brlow where it was at the end of QE 2 (6/30/11). This is the fourth round of liquidity
tightening in evidence since the end of 2008. Each one of these tightening moves has been
followed by a sizable easing move. The Fed needs to buy $50 bil. of Treasuries or other paper
to raise its account value to the level it promised to maintain at the end of QE 2. Moreover, if,
and this remains a big if, the EZ's central banks may need $ over the next several months, the
Fed through its currency swap line could lend up to $200 bil. more without raising eyebrows.
So, there is the potential for QE without the Fed actually having to say They are providing it.
Just a little something to keep in mind.
- Peter Richardson
- Retired chief investment officer and former NYSE firm partner with 50 plus years experience in field as analyst / economist, portfolio manager / trader, and CIO who has superb track record with multi $billion equities and fixed income portfolios. Advanced degrees, CFA. Having done much professional writing as a young guy, I now have a cryptic style. 40 years down on and around The Street confirms: CAVEAT EMPTOR IN SPADES !!!