Ben Gersten

Bill Gross: Why QE Will End Before the Fed Wants It To – Money Morning

Legendary bond guru Bill Gross doesn’t think too highly of the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke’s monetary policies.

“There comes a point when no matter how much blood is being pumped through the system as it is now, with zero-based policy rates and global quantitative easing programs, that the blood itself may become anemic, oxygen-starved, or even leukemic, with white blood cells destroying more productive red cell counterparts,” Gross writes in his June investment outlook titled Wounded Heart.

Don’t Bet Against a Surging U.S. Dollar – Money Morning

In the midst of a brewing currency war, Japan’s out-of-control monetary policy has caused the yen to fall to an almost five-year low against the U.S. dollar.

With an economy one-third the size of that of the United States, Japan has committed itself to a fiscal program that’s almost double the U.S. Federal Reserve‘s current $85- billion a month stimulus.

Like any other war, this battle of monetary-easing measures won’t end well, but fortunately for Americans, it’s looking more and more likely that the dollar will emerge victorious.

“Right now, the U.S. dollar is the ‘cleanest dirty shirt in the laundry,’ so I’d buy it,” said Money Morning Capital Waves Strategist Shah Gilani.

The dollar now stands at 101.93 against the yen, the first time it’s broken the 100 mark since 2009, and is up 26.6% in the past six months.

Many experts are now predicting the dollar’s climb has just begun and some analysts see the dollar hitting 105 yen this summer and possibly 110 by the end of the year.

“The turn in yen has been dramatic and has proven the importance of momentum when a multi-year cycle turns,” Nomura currency expert Jens Nordvig wrote in a note to clients. “A similar dynamic could be in store for the dollar. In the scheme of things, the USD REER [Real Effective Exchange Rates] is still trading close to multi-decade lows. Once the turn is evident, we believe momentum could be powerful.”

Here’s why the U.S. dollar’s run is just beginning.

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The New Crisis Warning Just Issued to the Federal Reserve – Money Morning

Before the housing market crash, economists warned that record low-interest and mortgage rates were fueling a housing bubble.

Unfortunately, those fears were both overlooked and underestimated.

Now, an advisory council to the U.S. Federal Reserve is warning the Fed that its record $85 billon-a-month stimulus and ultra-low interest rates are fueling new bubbles in student loans and farmland.

“Recent growth in student-loan debt, to nearly $1 trillion, now exceeds credit-card outstandings and has parallels to the housing crisis,” according to minutes of the council’s Feb. 8 meeting.
In addition, “agricultural land prices are veering further from what makes sense,” the council said. “Members believe the run-up in agriculture land prices is a bubble resulting from persistently low interest rates.”

These warnings come from the Federal Advisory Council, a panel of 12 bankers chosen by the 12 Federal Reserve banks, which consults with and advises the Fed. Members of the council include the CEOs of Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), State Street Corp. (NYSE: SST), BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT), Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) , U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and the former CEO of PNC Financial Services (NYSE: PNC).

What’s more, the council warned the Fed in September that QE3 and its plan to buy bonds indefinitely would distort bond prices and have a limited impact on the economy and that “uncertain effects” will arise from the eventual unwinding of the balance sheet, including “risks to price and financial stability.”

So while Uncle Ben likes to remind us that the Fed will step in and take appropriate fiscal measures when necessary, the central bank’s own council believes the Fed’s actions are doing more harm than good.

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