Friday, October 29, 2010

The Democratic Process of Money Meddling

" is prudent of the central bankers to get a feel for where disappointment would actually set in."
(Source: E-piphany)
Our friend Mr. Ashton picked up the hints from a Bloomberg report. It is important to realize prices are never objective. It's true for houses, cars, and even U.S. Treasurys. So while one can despise the actions of the central bank, it's not exactly honest to claim they are stupid. As Bloomberg reports:
The New York Fed survey ... asks about expectations for the initial size of any new program of debt purchases and the time over which it would be completed. It also asks firms how often they anticipate the Fed will re- evaluate the program, and to estimate its ultimate size.
That appears to be a pretty good line of questioning! Before they make any announcement next week (or not) they better figure out what kind of a statement is least likely to create a panic. One might even consider the expectations are so strong, if they don't announce QE2 next week we'll have a clear and noticeable collapse in something on Wednesday afternoon and on into the week. It is the fall, after all.

So it looks like the fed is actually working out the plan by getting surreptitious "feedback". It's prudent to presume an event has already been priced in by the time it happens. Even if one is skeptical of that principle, given this kind of clear signaling, the pros obviously know and are already preparing their portfolios.

Therefore, the fundamental questions investors need to get right are these:

  • a) What prices will rise when this happens? Obvously Treasurys, except the inflation factor may counter the whole supply/demand factor.

  • b) If profit taking kicks in at the announcement, where have those profits been accumulating?

  • Without the results of the survey, we peons are at a grave disadvantage trying to get those answers right. The one thing we can be sure of though, is that at 2 pm EST on November 3rd, being at your terminal with fingers nimble and ready is the wise plan.

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