Fed to Crash Markets Before Launching QE3
by Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul
Aug 29, 2012
Desperate to print Wiemar-style to fight off the most viscous Kondratiev Winter on record, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may not satisfy ‘inflation trade’ onlookers at the close of his Jackson Hole speech scheduled Friday. He may, instead, merely allow months of anticipatory front-running of stocks do the work of propping up asset prices for him.
And if investors don’t get the ‘all-systems go’ at Jackson Hole, there’s always the FOMC meeting of Sept. 12 & 13 to get the good news. That’s when market volatility could move off the charts, maybe extreme volatility to the downside, according some Wall Street analysts.
“With the equity market pricing in a significant chance of QE3, stock prices are no longer as useful a signal to Fed officials. Should the Fed disappoint at its September policy meeting, the risk of a stock sell-off is high,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a note to clients, Aug. 21.
“Some in the markets think that the Fed effectively targets equity prices, meaning that to predict Fed policy, one merely needs to track the U.S. stock market,” the analysts add. “There is a curious circularity to this view, however: the Fed will not launch QE3 so long as stock prices are high, yet the stock market is high because it anticipates QE3.”
The old adage on the Street, ‘buy the rumor, sell the fact’, may be at play here. But if Bernanke plays too-hard-to-get with investors in the coming weeks, a nasty fall could be in store for the Fed chief—a fall that could outright overwhelm the NY Fed’s PPT and result in a stock market plunge akin to the Crash of 1987. Maybe.