Thursday, November 4, 2010

Phil Flynn: Inflation Is Good For You

As expected the Fed pumped more money into the economy and seemed to do just enough to exceed market expectations. The Fed said that they would maintain its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its securities holdings and intends to purchase $600 billion of longer term Treasury securities by the end of the second quarter of 2011. They will do this to the tune of about $75 billion per month. While the estimates of what the Fed would do were all over the board, the average was for the Fed to do $500 billion. The Federal Reserve was very aware of market expectations and aware that the market had priced that 500 billion with the massive move that we saw in commodities and to a lesser extent stocks.

It was clear that the Fed wanted to exceed the expectations so we would not sell the fact and take away some of the inflationary expectations they had built into this market. That's right. Inflation is not the worst thing in the world. At least that's what Ben Bernanke says and he is making it clear that worries about his policies creating inflation are over blown. He says that QE1 did not spark inflation and he does not expect that QE2 will either. In an op-ed with the Washington Post he tries to explain why he did what he did.

He says that, “The Federal Reserve's objectives, its dual mandate set by Congress, are to promote a high level of employment and low, stable inflation. Unfortunately, the job market remains quite weak; the national unemployment rate is nearly 10 percent, a large number of people can find only part time work, and a substantial fraction of the unemployed have been out of work six months or longer. The heavy costs of unemployment include intense......Read the entire article.

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