I clearly underestimated what the market's response would be to loosening credit. I was shocked and so were many market participants. The market bears were wrong.
It is clear that the data-dependent
recognizes -- as some of us have written -- that the economy's foundation, particularly the consumer, was cracking. The Fed's constituents (i.e., the banks) clearly warned Bernanke of mounting problems. (The economic bulls like
were wrong, too.)
For now, the market appears convinced of the "Bernanke Put," though a small minority believes that yesterday's move was "one and done."
I am not, however, in
of the Federal Reserve.
From my perch, the Federal Reserve might have made a tactical mistake by freeing its monetary reins. The U.S.'s economic problem lies firmly in the consumer/housing market, and the larger-than-expected rate cut will likely promote more inflation, a downward spiral in the U.S. dollar and, most importantly, will likely raise intermediate and long-dated bond yields.
The latter point is the most important, as this will serve to further cripple the housing market by raising mortgage rates -- especially for those who are facing an imminent reset.
Doug Kass is founder and president of Seabreeze Partners Management, Inc., and the general partner and investment manager of Seabreeze Partners Short LP and Seabreeze Partners Short Offshore Fund, Ltd.