– January 31, 2011

“The Fed’s policy statement on Wednesday afternoon said emphatically what we have discussed here endlessly: Nothing is going to stop these guys from completing their mission. Nothing. Nunca, nada, niete. The guvs said neither the most recent pick-up in up in economic growth nor the continued surge in commodity prices would deter them from continuing to buy $600 billion in Treasury debt by mid-year in an effort to lower interest rates, as they are still more worried about elevated unemployment and low core inflation.

Mind you, there were highlights. The statement was more upbeat than usual, observing a rise in consumption last year while bemoaning spending would be constrained this year. The statement also nodded at the rise in commodity prices — hey, cotton’s only at a 150-year high, no biggie — but they said emphatically that inflation expectations are still stable and underlying inflation is low. And you know in my view that is correct: As long as home prices and wages remain very subdued, it’s almost impossible to see a big pickup in inflation.

Will anyone really be surprised if Greece simply decides it is not competitive in the European Union anymore, and finds a legal way to drop out? No. How about Ireland? No. The peripheral countries all have too much debt, and the only way out — exercised for hundreds of years — is to devalue their currency. But they need their own currency first. This should not be considered a bad thing: It will just be a matter of weeding out countries that should never have joined the EU in the first place.” Read more.

“Fed Keeps Pedal to the Metal As Egypt Unrest Weighs on Markets”
John D. Markman
Money Morning, January 30, 2011.

Image by Dundee Photographics / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Tom Duncan

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