Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Aside from a reduction in the purchase of GSE debt from $200 billion to $175 billion, there were no substantive changes to the Federal Reserve's policy statement today after the central bank concluded two days of deliberation.
Naturally, the "freakishly low" short-term lending rate of between 0.0 and 0.25 percent will be maintained and, more importantly, the key phrase "for an extended period" was left intact.
For those of you not wearing a Fed decoder ring, this means, "Continue to speculate with borrowed money on any asset class that you think might go up in price because you've got nothing to fear from the central bank".
Of course, markets reacted as you might have expected - the dollar went down and just about everything else went up. Gold moved up about $6 an ounce within minutes
This is shaping up to be a "recovery" in asset prices that looks a lot like the last one. The only thing is, if history is a guide, asset prices don't really start to move until they start raising interest rates - that seems to be many, many months away.
For those of you who might be interested in this sort of thing, the last two policy statements are shown side-by-side below.
Just a little light typing was required this month.
I'm probably not alone in thinking that this is going to end badly ... again.