Saturday, October 09, 2010

Quantitative Easing Has Already Started

The prices of just about all assets have recently soared in terms of U.S. dollars, whether be bonds, stocks, commodities or foreign currencies. That is something that I highlighted already 2 weeks ago, and that trend is something that has continued accelerated.

For example the yield on the 10-year inflation protected Treasury security has dropped from 0.81% ( a record low at the time) to 0.40%, while the yield on the 5-year inflation protected Treasury security has dropped from 0.06% to -0.47%.

Had this been the result of simply "flight to safety" due to increased economic pessimism, this drop in real bond yields would have been associated with falling stock prices, but instead the S&P 500 gained another 1.5%.

Meanwhile, the prices of commodities, particularly oil and gold has continued to soar, while the U.S. dollar has continued to lose value against most other currencies, particularly the euro.

When all prices rise like this at the same then we are clearly experiencing inflation. This inflation is in turn driven by two factors. One is reduced money demand as people expect that an expected Fed announcement about quantitative easing to reduce the purchasing power of money. The other is that we have in fact already experienced "quantitative easing".

In the 9 weeks between July 26 and September 27, MZM rose 2.3%, which translates into an annualized rate of 14%.