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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Phil Flynn: Crude Oil After QE 2

People are finally starting to get it. And that is that the Federal Reserve policy moves markets and that quantitative easing drives up the price of oil. Most had never heard the term "quantitative easing" when the Fed made their move to print money the first time in March, 2009. The Fed made this move to try to save the economy from what they thought was leading us to a deflationary depression. For those of you who still need enlightening, quantitative easing is basically the monetary policy of last resort. When even zero percent interest rates fail to generate economic activity, the central banks flood the banks with excess cash reserves by buying back paper debt the banks hold with freshly printed money.

The hope is therefore, that these banks will in turn lend that freshly printed money to businesses and you and I, who in turn will expand and spend, thereby, hopefully, hire people and create more jobs. It also hopes to take away that deflationary mood by devaluing the U.S. dollar making commodities more expensive. Quantitative easing by the Fed is the greatest economic story of modern times. Back in 2009 when I tried to explain this concept, many looked at me as if I was from outer space. QE was a mystery to them and all they could figure was it was those evil oil and commodity speculators that were driving up prices. Prominent oil bulls went as far as saying the value of the dollar had nothing to do with the value of crude.

They seemed to believe that the sudden surge oil was due to the world hitting its peak ability to get oil that was running out. Others railed against speculators saying they caused the run up in prices yet failed to mention the dollar or the financial crisis when they spewed their diatribe to anyone who would listen, even Congress. Now of course the world is more familiar with the inflationary impact of quantitative easing. In fact if they were not, well they got a crash course after the last Fed meeting......Read the entire article.

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