We Should Have Known Something Was Wrong, by Tyler Durden

Good for Bank of America for figuring out that QE 2 may not have been a good idea and QE3 was definitely a bad idea, but they are about seven years too late. QE1, which Bank of America endorses, was just as bad as its successors. Central banks are bad ideas and so is quantitative easing (“Herd Extinct,” SLL, 9/24/15) and Bank of America gets no credit for finally seeing a glimmer of the truth. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Remember when stuff such as the following was written exclusively on “conspiracy” tin-foil blogs by deranged lunatics who could not appreciate the brilliance of the neo-Keynesian system and central-planning by academics, in all its glory? Good times.

Here is Bank of America’s Athanasios Vamvakidis channeling Tyler Durden [and Straight Line Logic] circa 2009

The real cost of QE

QE was not a free lunch after all

If only it was that easy to print our way out of a global crisis. Eight years after the crisis, we are still debating about whether the recovery has gained enough of a momentum to allow exit from crisis-driven policies and start hiking rates from zero. The world economy has actually lost momentum this year (Chart 1), deflation risks have increased (Chart 2), and EM indicators and overall market volatility have reached crisis levels (see Chart 3). All this is despite unprecedented expansion of central bank balance sheets (Chart 4). Things may have been worse otherwise, but in hindsight we believe relying too much on unconventional monetary policies was not a free lunch after all.

We should have known something was wrong

The Fed “taper tantrum” could have been the first warning that QE had gone too far. The Fed’s announcement in June 2013 that they would consider tapering QE, contingent upon continued positive data, triggered a sharp market sell-off, particularly in EM. The aggressive search for yield, which intensified after the Fed announced QE3—or QE infinity as markets called it—came to a sudden stop. QE was not for infinity after all. The Fed tried to reassure markets that QE tapering was still policy easing and that its end would not imply rate hikes immediately, but the markets apparently thought otherwise. A key takeaway was not that QE had already gone too far, but that announcing its tapering may have been a mistake. The Fed waited until December to start tapering, although the market had already priced its beginning in September.

To continue reading: We Should Have Known Something Was Wrong

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