Dr. John Hussman is no stranger to Outside the Box readers. And his recent posting has my mind reeling. In essence he is saying that if the Fed wants to stop the QE and allow rates to rise, they must either reverse the QE or bring on inflation. And he does it with numbers and his usual strong reasoning. I really did read this 3-4 times, thinking through the implications.
“There are a few possible outcomes as we move forward. One is that the economy weakens, and the Fed decides to leave interest rates unchanged, or even to initiate an additional round of quantitative easing. In this event, it's quite possible that we still would not observe much inflation, provided that interest rates are held down far enough. Unfortunately, the larger the monetary base, the lower the interest rate required for a non-inflationary outcome. T-bills are already at less than 4 basis points. In the event of even another $200 billion in quantitative easing, the liquidity preference curve suggests that Treasury bill yields would have to be held at literally a single basis point in order to avoid inflationary pressures.”
You can read his latest work at www.hussman.net .
Note on Finland. The True Finns took over 19% of the vote, with the largest party getting slightly more than 20% and the number two a little less. Basically, 15% of Finnish voters used the True Finns to register their displeasure at the bailout at the cost of Finnish taxpayers. Germany is starting to talk about “restructuring” Greek debt, another word for default. The German banks must be getting in better shape if the talk is out in the open among German leaders – much as I said a year ago. Stay tuned.
Your wondering how the Fed will pull this off (without a real problem developing) analyst,
This week’s Outside the Box is from my friend David Galland, an interview he did for The Casey Report, and it represents a philosophical train of thought more in line with Austrian economics and libertarianism than my own. But if we only read what we already think, then how do we learn? It is only when your ideas are challenged and you must determine why the other guys are wrong and you are right, that you can either become more firm in your beliefs, or change. And much of what David says in this interview resonates. (I wrote about the end of QE2 a few weeks ago.)
The guys at Casey are natural resources, commodities, and precious metals investors. Yet David argues that cash might be the wise thing now, after pounding the table for years on gold. He believes that the end of QE2 will be more important and dramatic than most think. That it is coming to an end I have no doubt, so it is important to think about what the effects, if any, will be. There are those who argue that we can live without it now. I argued (and still do) that we should have never had it. The unintended consequences are the ones I worry about. We just don’t know. It was a crazy experiment, with no understanding of what would really happen. But hoping for the best is not a strategy, so let’s think about it. David provides us with some different ways to look at the process.
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Last, a housekeeping item. I “fat-fingered” my inbox and lost about a hundred emails from the last three months or so, which I planned to get around to, but now they are buried in about 25,000 deleted files. (It’s what happens when you don’t touch-type and have to look at the keyboard. Yes, I know…) One way to clean out your inbox I guess, but if I owe you something, you might want to drop me a note again.
Your already buried with 75 new emails in a few hours analyst,
As long time readers know, I am a big fan of Greg Weldon. This week he has very graciously allowed me to reproduce his client letter from last Thursday on some of the issues of Bernanke and Quantitative Easing 2. It prints a little longer than usual because of his format and all the charts, but this is one letter you should take the time to read.
You can get a free trial (his service is not cheap but if you are a global macro fund or trader, you really should have it!) by going to www.weldononline.com.
Sadly, this weekend was not a good time for Dallas. The Rangers dropped two and now have to win in Tampa Bay and the Cowboys were simply awful. The first time in 50 years that I get season tickets and they are just not fun. I was thinking they get to the Super Bowl and it is in Dallas this year and the tickets get me in. Clearly, I need to keep my day job.
Oh, well, the Mavericks are in town and the NBA will soon crank up. Oh, wait a minute. Everyone we wanted went to Miami. We are not that much better than last year. Sigh. Oh, well. It could be worse. I could be in Cleveland. (Sorry, Mike!)
Your hoping Cliff Lee pitches a shut-out analyst,