In response, I said that I was less confident that easing measures would be as effective as the consensus believes.
Moreover, numerous companies on the ground are warning that China has become a drag relative to expectations, including Nike (NKE - Get Report), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report), McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) and Caterpillar (CAT - Get Report).
And then there is the poor price action of commodities (coal, metals, etc.), which seem to be signaling more profound weakness in the Chinese economy. (This morning China Steel, Taiwan's largest producer, cut steel product prices by another 5.1% for October-November.) This helps to explain why BHP Billiton (BHP) canceled its large expansion of the Olympia Dam project yesterday.
Melissa asked me what my tactical portfolio responses are to my concerns. I said that I was slowly shorting into the continuing strength and that my gross long exposure is at the lowest level and my gross short exposure at my highest level in many moons.I concluded the segment by saying that what I thought the Fed said yesterday was that, at the present time, the domestic economic recovery was not self-sustaining. That has been my view for a while, and I continue to fear that the Great Recession of 2008-2009 is turning out to be a lifetime sentence of subpar global economic growth. The level of interest rates and monetary policy are not what ail our economy; the problems are structural, political and fiscal. Quantitative easing is progressively losing its influence, and its benefits historically are suspect. For now, the market is only focused on the phantom benefits of liquidity. My bet is that this changes quickly as Europe deteriorates further -- I would note that the Fed's Bullard was bearish on the EU on "Squawk Box" this morning -- and as Air China crashes. So, call me maybe on the stock market top. Still.
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