This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

The Politics of Delayed Disaster

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's hard to imagine how the market could agree so unanimously on anything other than "losing money is bad." But everywhere you look people are predicting imminent QE3 at this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, or at the very least in December. Even Chairman Mao got much more dissent, even at the height of the Cultural Revolution, than this view.

But why? And how?

The five-year inflation expectation has been on an uptrend ever since Operation Twist2. In fact, it passed above the significant 2% level last Friday.

Indeed, the nonfarm payroll number last Friday was bad, if you decide to focus on the bad part that is. And indeed it is an important data point for the Fed.

But if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture and over a slightly longer time horizon, the U.S. economy is decidedly, unequivocally, ho-hum. It's at least not bad (remember the 8/28 Case-Schilling housing data anyone?), which is the best thing any country can say nowadays.

To expand the Fed balance sheet when inflation expectation is 2%, the economy is mixed, and two months before an election would be unprecedented. It would create a huge risk of inflation and political hailstorm, thus badly damaging the Fed's credibility as well as the future of Ben Bernanke's personal career.

I guess it doesn't cost anything for the Fed to say "we'll maintain a zero interest rate policy indefinitely." Although they'll run out of short-term treasuries to sell by the end of Twist 2, I suppose they could redefine "short-term" and start selling longer-term holdings or even pull a twist on agencies.

But as Zerohedge pointed out, any significant increase in the Fed's purchase of long-term treasuries or mortgage-backed securities threatens overwhelming the market and exhausting liquidity.

In other words, the market has set itself up for certain and imminent disappointment, on a huge scale.

However, when things are so skewed, there must be some other rational explanation. The best rational explanation I've found so far comes from the always insightful John Dizard, by way of FT. It goes like this, in my words:
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
FXI $32.25 0.00%
GLD $122.21 0.00%
SPY $205.01 0.00%
UUP $24.17 0.00%
VXX $16.73 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,651.26 -99.65 -0.56%
S&P 500 2,051.12 -12.25 -0.59%
NASDAQ 4,725.6390 -37.5850 -0.79%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs