John Taylor: “The Collapse Of Europe Has Begun, The Euro Will Trade Like The Lira In A Few Months”
by Tyler Durden
Fasten Your Seatbelt
November 11, 2010
By John R. Taylor, Jr.
Chief Investment Officer, FX Concepts
Now that Ben Bernanke has re-introduced quantitative easing (QE2) to a mostly incredulous world and, across the ocean, the Eurozone has begun unraveling again, our thoughts should turn to the parlous state of the world and the risks ahead. These are amazing times and seem to grow more so every day. Policy errors are popping up everywhere and are likely to multiply dramatically as the political problems are serious, answers hard to find, and the decision makers are not up to the task. Bernanke has proven that he is more a college professor and less a trader, which will cost the world dearly. Sometime between June and August Bernanke lost his stomach for the “exit strategy,” probably influenced by his predecessor’s summer announcement that the US economy had ‘hit an invisible wall.” While it can be argued that QE1 has been a success due to the liquidity crisis, it did not expand the Fed’s balance sheet and came when the economy was still reeling. This new edition dramatically expands the balance sheet, actually funding the entire projected government deficit over the next few months. Although the world believes that QE2 is there to push the dollar sharply lower, Bernanke argued that his goal was something else. On the day after the Fed’s move, he wrote in a Washington Post editorial piece that QE2 would push up the equity market, bonds, and other risky securities thereby stimulating consumption and economic activity. Even Greenspan did not publicly proclaim his “put,” but now Bernanke has made it the centerpiece of US strategy. Equities are already overpriced, with profit margins at all-time highs and PE ratios far above average. Speculation is now more American than apple pie – but this is a very risky time to practice it. As one highly respected analyst noted about Bernanke’s article, “these are undoubtedly among the most ignorant remarks ever made by a central banker.” As we and many others have noted that QE has shown little or no positive impact on actual economic activity, so the Fed has taken a big gamble, and if it fails as we expect it will have nowhere else to go. With the Republican victory tainted by the Tea Party “starve the beast” mentality, austerity has come to Washington. This next year will be a terrible one for the world’s biggest economy, so we would go against Bernanke on the equity side, but buy government bonds along with him.