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Friday, June 10, 2011

QE2 coming to an end and QE3 could follow!!!

As told on blog on QE earlier, by JUNE 30th 2011, the Fed will be winding down its second round of quantitative easing. I.e.QE2. By announcing quantitative easing Fed made an impression to the world that they’re willing to do whatever is necessary to maintain growth, which promoted higher stock prices, made people and companies feel a little more financially stable and wealthy, which will then translate into consumer spending & subsequently unemployment will go down. The employment situation do showed some increase in hiring & a drop in the unemployment rate below 9.0 %, all due to QE program. Now when the unemployment rate ticked back up again above that high benchmark of 9.0%, and weekly initial jobless claims have been firmly above 4,00,000 for several weeks, people have started talking about QE3 i.e. third round of quantitative easing !!!
Well, the perception of “easy money” was enough to encourage speculators and traders to make a leveraged bets on both stocks & commodities. As said, stocks and commodities went higher. And the jobs data improved a little bit all due to blessing of QE2.
Now, when the QE2 is coming to an end, the perception of 2011 recovery has evaporated as the economic data from mid-summer signaled another round of recession coming back. At the opening of the year, many economists were projecting U.S. to grow as high as 5 %; the Fed was thinking 3.4 % to 3.9 % of growth which was above average year of economic expansion.
The U.S. has grown at a historical average of 3 % per year. Even with unprecedented stimulus it’s been growing below the trend since 2006. Recent data suggests that another round of recession is coming …A recent study showed that since 1948 whenever the US GDP fell below 2 %, it normally predicted recession for the U.S. economy.
In April 2011, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) gave their advanced estimate for Q1 2011 which said that growth will be at 1.8 %, Unemployment will hover around 5 % higher than pre-crisis levels.
Even after the two rounds of quantitative easing by the Fed and two rounds of fiscal stimulus by the U.S. government, employment will still sits about 5 % over the long run “natural rate” of unemployment, housing prices will remain anywhere from 20 % to 50 % below its peak levels. The government has recapitalized the banks, the Fed has kept mortgage rates historically low, and various failed mortgage revival programs have been floated, housing is still at 32 % down from 2006 highs.
As all can see that consumer credit peaked in 2008 when Lehman Brothers failed, it likely means that the world is in for another seven years of economic uneasiness.
In Asia, traders have been anticipating QE3, sending the Indian rupee, Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit, Indonesian rupiah & even Thai bhat went higher, QE3 could turn into massive capital inflows in Emerging markets like India boosting growth, creating an illusion of false recovery, but in reality they would be just bubbles. If QE3 is not announced then in that case US markets can collapse by 10 % or so making treasury yields to rise, USD would strengthen and commodities like Gold, Silver & Oil would see a minor dip in their prices.  And if QE3 happens it will make US $ to crash. US $ will loose its value among all major currencies across the world , crude oil prices will jump up, prices of commodities like Gold will shot up, Equity markets around the world especially Emerging markets will rise and India will be benefited by it if India’s own internal problems are solved by that time.
With all of this in mind, even though the easy money policies of the Fed have been highly scrutinized, in my view Fed may delay the announcement of QE3 which can cause markets to take a down turn for a while and on announcement of QE3 markets will raise again. There are lots of issues around the Indian equity markets such as high inflation, 2G scam, Government facing public agitation on corruption, such issues were keeping investors away form our markets for a while, but on announcement of QE3 our markets will raise again, I believe that stocks specific investments during the down turn would bring good returns, in the mean time I would be going for 45 % in stocks & 25 % in Gold & rest to hold cash, this would be my strategy for the time being.
But one thing of sure QE3 would bring another violent downturn for the global economy!!!!!

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