Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Eye on the Fed: QE 2 Affirmed

This from Econoday/Bloomberg today in summary of the FOMC Meeting and their message to the public.

"Basically, the Fed still sees the need to continue with its plans for balance sheet expansion. In turn, the Fed maintained its position regarding continuing with $600 billion in QE2.

"To promote a stronger pace of economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with its mandate, the Committee decided today to continue expanding its holdings of securities as announced in November. The Committee will maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings. In addition, the Committee intends to purchase $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011, a pace of about $75 billion per month."

Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig continued to dissent.

"Mr. Hoenig was concerned that a continued high level of monetary accommodation would increase the risks of future economic and financial imbalances and, over time, would cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations that could destabilize the economy." The vote for the statement was 10 to 1.

The bottom line is that QE2 continues much as expected. This will continue to support economic recovery, eventual lower unemployment, and a more acceptable rate of inflation. On the news, markets were little changed as the statement largely met expectations in terms of rates and commentary."

The statement affirms the Committee's commitment to doing everything they can to reflate assets and reduce unemployment levels. Call this what you want, it is still bullish for assets in the short term.