By Dave Fry, founder and publisher of
and author of the best-selling book
April 7, 2010
HOENIG SEES A BUBBLE & STOCKS SEE RED
As a dissenter Fed Governor Thomas Hoenig dared speak of
and other heresies away from the official line. At the same time, Bernanke was testifying regarding current economic fragility. Who's right?
"In particular, what are the hazards of holding the Federal Funds rate target close to zero? The risks of raising too soon are clear and compelling. My comments, however, concern the risks of raising rates too late. Such risks also can be significant but all too often seem more distant and less compelling, and therefore hold great long-term danger for us all...I have dissented at the last two FOMC meetings specifically because I believe the 'extended period' language is no longer warranted and I am concerned about the buildup of financial imbalances creating long-run risks....And, the market appears to interpret the extended period as at least six months. Such actions, moreover, have the effect of encouraging investors to place bets that rely on the continuance of exceptionally easy monetary policy. I have no doubt that many on Wall Street are looking at this as a rare opportunity."
At least he's articulating what many are thinking--an asset bubble is brewing and it's being fed by current easy money policies.
Lacking other news and with volume light before his remarks, investors took his words to heart Wednesday and started selling.
So as volume picks up it follows previous patterns of heavier volume on down days as stops are hit and positions liquidated. Breadth was mostly negative per the WSJ.
The NYMO is a market breadth indicator that is based on the difference between the number of advancing and declining issues on the NYSE. When readings are +60/-60 markets are extended short-term.
Per Investopedia: The McClellan Summation Index is a long-term version of the McClellan Oscillator. It is a market breadth indicator, and interpretation is similar to that of the McClellan Oscillator, except that it is more suited to major trends. I believe readings of +1000/-1000 reveal markets as much extended.
Per Investopedia: The VIX is a widely used measure of market risk and is often referred to as the "investor fear gauge". Our own interpretation is highlighted in the chart above. The VIX measures the level of put option activity over a 30-day period. Greater buying of put options (protection) causes the index to rise.
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Was there anything new about Hoenig's speech that we didn't already know? Nothing. He's been a dissenting vote and wants interest rates increased sooner rather than six months from now. He did throw down the gauntlet to Wall Street warning them to mind their risks and beware of an unfolding asset bubble (stocks) as he sees it.
Meanwhile, back at the
congress, Greenspan was being grilled and Bernanke was doing his speaking in tongues shtick. I didn't disagree with
how congress and others promoted a housing bubble through the CRA (he didn't mention the sacred cow by name) and FNM/ FRE. That was the political deal made to repeal Glass-Steagall by putting the CRA on steroids. But, he was for the repeal and did keep interest rates too low too long after 9/11. His oversight of what happened next was reprehensible.
Little noticed was the contraction in Consumer Credit Wednesday. Thursday is Jobless Claims data and that should provide a shove one way or another.
Let's see what happens. You can follow our pithy comments on
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Dave Fry is founder and publisher of
, Dave's Daily blog and the best-selling book author of
, published by Wiley Finance in 2008. A detailed bio is here: