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Doubts Grow Over Wisdom Of Ben Bernanke 'super-Put'

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8111153/Doubts-grow-over-wisdom-of-Ben-Bernanke-super-put.html

The early verdict is in on the US Federal Reserve's $600bn of fresh money through quantitative easing. Yields on 30-year Treasury bonds jumped 20 basis points to 4.07pc.

It is the clearest warning shot to date that global investors will not tolerate Ben Bernanke's openly-declared policy of generating inflation for much longer.

Soaring bourses may have stolen the headlines, but equities are rising for an unhealthy reason: because they are a safer asset class than bonds at the start of an inflationary credit cycle.

Meanwhile, the price of US crude oil jumped $2.5 a barrel to $87. It is up 20pc since markets first concluded in early September that 'QE2' was a done deal.

This amounts to a tax on US consumers, transferring US income to Mid-East petro-powers. Copper has behaved in much the same way. So have sugar, soya, and cotton.

The dollar plunged yet again. That may have been the Fed's the unstated purpose. If so, Washington has angered the world's rising powers and prompted a reaction with far-reaching strategic consequences.

Li Deshui from Beijing's Economic Commission said a string of Asian states share China's "deep bitterness" over dollar debasement, and are examining ways of teaming up to insulate themselves from the tsunami of US liquidity. Thailand said its central bank is already in talks with neighbours to devise a joint protection policy.

Brazil's central bank chief Henrique Mereilles said the US move had created "excessive dollar liquidity which we are absorbing," forcing his country to restrict inflows. Mexico's finance minister warned of "more bubbles."

These countries cannot easily shield themselves from the inflationary effect of QE2 by raising interest rates since this leads to further "carry trade" inflows in search of yield. They are being forced to eye capital controls, with ominous implications for the interwoven global system.

In London and Frankfurt the verdict was just as harsh. "In our view, this is one of the greatest policy mistakes in the Fed's history," said Toby Nangle from Baring Asset Management.

"The Fed is gambling that the so-called 'portfolio balance channel effect' – pushing money out of government bonds and into other assets – will lift risk asset prices. The gamble is that this boosts profits and wages, rather than simply prices. We remain unconvinced. How will a liquidity solution correct a solvency problem?" he said.

"A policy error," said Ulrich Leuchtmann from Commerzbank. The wording of the Fed statement is "potentially dangerous" because it leaves the door open to a further flood of Treasury purchases if unemployment stays high. "It is a bottomless pit," he said.

Is the final end game looming?

China and America seem logged in a struggle to keep each others currencies as low as possible, smoke and mirrors everywhere this is a trade war and ultimately it will be the people that suffer.

The longer the necessary purge is put off the greater the damage will be inflicted once this lunacy is finally ended.

Still I'm sure it's all contained.

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  • 141 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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