Quantitative Easing

Why Stock Prices Are High

                     Why are US stocks trading at twice the intrinsic value (as indicated by PE10)? The total amount of newly printed money injected into the global economy from all central bank’s Quantitative Easing (QE) programs in the past 10 years has been about $13.5Trillion, not counting some done by Japan before the 2008 GFC crash. Assuming global investors were reluctant to invest in the EU and Japan then this new money went into the U.S. stock market. The U.S. market has about $30Trillion in stocks; it was about half of that in 2013. Taking an average of 2013 and 2018 values implies over the past six years on average US stocks were priced by the market at $22trillion. About a

2019-10-25T15:29:44-07:00October 25th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Why Stock Prices Are High

Using Bonds, and Gold To Short-Sell Stocks

When stocks crash, bond yields may go down, thus increasing bond prices. If yields are very low then investors may feel they have nothing to lose by owning gold, which has no yield, thus in a stock crash both gold prices and bond prices may rise together. If someone is bearish about stocks then one may decide to buy gold and bonds so as to benefit from a stock crash. It is far less risky to own unlevered gold and bonds than short-selling stocks and there are minimal carrying charges for gold and none for bonds. However sometimes bond investors are early to the party in terms of wanting to be bearish about stocks. The bond market tends to anticipate

2019-10-01T17:35:03-07:00October 1st, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Using Bonds, and Gold To Short-Sell Stocks

The Federal Reserve Could Make The Economy Worse

Some Federal Reserve governors want to make the economy run “hot” by rapidly increasing the money supply to cause inflation. They mistakenly believe that higher inflation will force consumers to overconsume and that will trigger economic growth. This is wrong because consumers and business managers won’t be fooled by inflation and will not sustainably increase spending and investing. As the Fed increases its degree of interference with and disruption of the economy then business managers will have to adjust for this which will include assigning a higher risk premium (a hurdle rate used to decide if a project is going to be successful) to business activities. When that happens the cost of capital will be higher that it otherwise would

2019-07-26T15:23:31-07:00July 26th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on The Federal Reserve Could Make The Economy Worse

Should the Fed Take Out an Insurance Policy?

    The cliché now being used that the Federal Reserve ought to “cut interest rates in take out an insurance policy to prevent a recession” is wrong. By cutting rates with an eventual move to either zero real rates or even zero nominal rates, this causes problems for both retirees, and future retirees who are saving for retirement. It causes problems for banks, insurance companies, and pension funds. At some point if rates are too low for too long then retirees will respond by cutting their standard of living, reducing consumption and this will negate the stimulus from cutting borrower’s rates. Negative or zero rates will ruin banks and insurance companies, leading to a wave of banking failures and then

2019-07-17T16:41:42-07:00July 17th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Should the Fed Take Out an Insurance Policy?

Complex Theories May Confuse You About The Stock Market’s Hidden Risk

    In the 1997-2007 mortgage housing bubble the enablers of the bubble tried to rationalize using the Gaussian Copula theory that a Mortgage Backed Security holding mortgages from different states would act diversify the risk of a default. But that rationale was wrong because it was assumed that the successful borrowers would offset the damage caused by the losers. Instead the winners, who are borrowers, are not obligated to bail out the loser or to pay extra to the lender to make up for the loss caused by the defaulting borrower, so the “diversification” was bogus. A similar phenomenon is happening where financial experts assume the central banks can bail out the economy by cutting rates deeply. The problem is

2019-06-19T17:06:19-07:00June 19th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Complex Theories May Confuse You About The Stock Market’s Hidden Risk

Dramatic Policy Shifts By The Fed

   The Federal Reserve’s recent dramatic shift from tightening to implied loosening is the fastest shift of Fed behavior in 50 years. Some people have leapt to the conclusion that Fed chief Powell simply caved into pressure from Trump, betraying good hard money policies, and changed to easing because of Trump. The real reason for the easing is because Fed employees have researched and realized that the Fed and other central banks made many mistakes, including being too optimistic about economic recovery since the crash of 2008, so they want to be truly prepared for the coming recession. It is highly likely that economic cycles can’t last more than ten years. The current cycle was modestly extended by Trump’s tax

2019-03-22T19:02:14-07:00March 22nd, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Dramatic Policy Shifts By The Fed

Central Bank Bubble Making: A Misleading Activity Worsening The Economy

   Don’t be fooled by the central bank’s ability to reflate the intangible financial economy and recover from a crash. If a crash occurs in financial assets then rhetorically speaking one can allege that prices are somehow unknowable or shrouded in an undiscoverable mystery so it’s somehow OK for central banks and governments to manipulate markets and artificially prop up asset prices. When stocks, bonds, real estate, and banks collapse, the central bank can print money and buy these assets at artificially high prices while the government and legislature can decree that “mark to market” accounting is suspended and that people must use the high water mark for valuation purposes.  This ability to create a miraculous “recovery” has fooled investors

2019-03-06T17:44:43-08:00March 6th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Central Bank Bubble Making: A Misleading Activity Worsening The Economy

Federal Reserve Ending QT Policy This Year

   The Federal Reserve intended to reverse the effects of Quantitative Easing by selling off its bond portfolio in an act called Quantitative Tightening (QT). The program started in late 2017. Only about 7% of assets were sold since then and now the Fed has suddenly decided to cancel QT this year. At this rate perhaps 11% of assets will have been sold, instead of the intended 100%. Most of the assets are intermediate term bonds or mortgage backed bonds that likely will “run off” (be prepaid) in a few years. The prepayment will occur if a recession triggers rate cuts that motivate borrowers to refinance, thus prepaying their loans. Thus, assuming a recession is coming soon, the portfolio will

2019-02-27T15:39:09-08:00February 27th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on Federal Reserve Ending QT Policy This Year

QE And NIRP Monetary Policy is a Dangerous Trap

My concerns about QE: 1. It was a placebo that won’t work next time thus creating a surprise, not yet fully discounted by the stock market. 2. QE and associated polices of NIRP and bailouts, including the Japanese and Swiss central bank’s purchase of equities have created moral hazard that encourages speculators to operate in a riskier manner thus building up a higher degree of hidden risk that eventually will bubble to the surface and disrupt the economy. Imagine investors seeking to make income from writing naked put options. If they were lured into a false sense of security that they are entitled to a perma-bull fantasy of central banks bailout of markets then they may act recklessly and take

2019-02-20T19:26:13-08:00February 20th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on QE And NIRP Monetary Policy is a Dangerous Trap

QE And Monetary Policy is a Confidence Game And a Placebo

   Quantitative easing (QE) and monetary policy don’t truly work except in the limited context of a placebo effect. Sophisticated business managers and investors plan around avoiding being manipulated by these activities, thus these manipulations don’t work. The ones who are unaware of the manipulation are the naïve working people who leapt to the conclusion they should buy a car or a house using low rate loans. Now look what happened where it was reported that the number of people with a 90 day delinquency on their car credit loans is the highest ever. If the economy is so good then why such a high default rate? The asymmetric nature of QE is that it does worse damage to the

2019-02-14T14:30:38-08:00February 14th, 2019|mayflowercapital blog|Comments Off on QE And Monetary Policy is a Confidence Game And a Placebo