Tags: Federal Reserve | investing | Greece | malinvestment

Fed's Easy-Money Policy Spurring Too Much Malinvestment?

By    |   Monday, 22 June 2015 06:16 AM

The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve is front and center now and will probably remain so right through next year’s election at least.

In the first clip, former Rep. Ron Paul, R.-Tex., gave his assessment of the current circumstance. One does not have to agree with his entire agenda to recognize that he is an expert critic of the Fed. Paul’s first complaint is that comments from the Fed Chair “play havoc with the Fed,” and it would be better if we had a free market. He sees “total instability, a lot of malinvestment, a pyramiding of gigantic debt.” He warns that all of the debt and malinvestment will be unwound. The interviewer rejoined that, “It’s the Fed that has held this market up,” and she asked when the unraveling will occur. Paul responded that the 35-year bull market in bonds must end, but no one knows when. This writer would suggest that until then, investors are acting on what the Fast Money traders call Fear of Missing Out (FOMO), and they assume that when the boom the Fed has engineered blows up, the worst of the “mal-investment” will be redeemed through the Yellen put.

Next, CNBC’s Sarah Eisen put a timely question this blog has been asking to an "Options Action" panel that included Larry McDonald of Societe General: How would banks be affected by a Graccident? It is assumed the authorities have already ring-fenced assets that would otherwise be vulnerable. However, McDonald contends that holders of the $860 billion of debt are under-pricing the risk, and he pointed to the experience of 2012. However, Eisen reminded him that those who stayed with banks had “a really great trade.” McDonald responded, “You want to buy fear in the banks,” and he recommended buying puts or put spreads in financial ETFs.

With some pundits predicting that the Supreme Court will issue its highly-anticipated decision in King v Burwell any day now, CNBC’s Dan Mangan provided a brief explanation of the potential consequences if the Court were to decide that only insurance purchased through states, not federal exchanges, is eligible for the federal subsidies on which the program relies. What Mangan did not say is that in all probability the Court will find some way around this, as it did when it upheld Obamacare back in 2012.

On Monday Patrick Bennett, FX Strategist at CIBC, looked at what the performance of the euro is saying about the state of negotiations in the Greek crisis. He found the euro holding up well versus the dollar because of stronger than expected performance by the European economy and the Fed likely having to wait for third quarter data before possibly acting to raise interest rates. The interviewer asked whether negotiations over Greece remain “elevator music” or whether they still have the potential to destabilize the euro. Bennett responded by agreeing with the “elevator music” analogy and asserting that the Greek situation has been “well priced” and “well adjusted for.” This writer would point out that this view contrasts with that of Larry McDonald last Friday, who questioned but not in a convincing way, that the risk had been priced.

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Robert-Feinberg
The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve is front and center now and will probably remain so right through next year's election at least. In the first clip, former Rep. Ron Paul, R.-Tex., gave his assessment of the current circumstance.
Federal Reserve, investing, Greece, malinvestment
526
2015-16-22
Monday, 22 June 2015 06:16 AM
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