I’ve been doom scrolling my newsfeeds for the past few days, not getting much work done. What a catastrophe. War in Europe, just 120 miles from where I was living a few short weeks ago.
I just communicated with a Ukrainian friend who lives in Kyiv and owns a number of apartments there. She left the city with her family on Thursday, for what she felt was greater safety in the west of the country. She said that the Russians are shelling and firing missiles at civilian targets indiscriminately, and that many ordinary people have died. She called Putin crazy. Then she noted how proud she was of her countrymen for their firm resistance.
I made several friends in Eastern Europe during my 26 months living there. I got to know their attitudes toward Putin and the Russians. My friends are all older people. They lived for decades under Russian domination. They love freedom and they hate the Russians viscerally. They will never surrender, even if Russia finally dominates in this conflict and subjugates them.
The question for us here is how this will impact monetary policy. We already know that the Russian central bank will be blocked from moving money, and that some Russian banks will be blocked from accessing the international payments system. No doubt this chaos will trigger a roundabout detour in the Fed’s tightening policy.
But will they actually reverse and return to QE? We’ll have to see what’s next. I would suspect that most of the easing would be directed at their cohort, the ECB, and other central banks. My guess is that they won’t immediately return to outright QE, pumping money into Primary Dealer accounts again, at least not right away.
The Fed is boxed in. It faces the prospect of an international financial crisis. It faces the reality of 40 year record inflation that has the prospect of worsening. We’ll watch what the Fed says because it will lead us to what they’ll probably do. Although in emergencies, the doing comes first. And markets respond to the doing, not the talking, despite what the Fed and the high priests of Wall Street want you to think.
So unless they pump money directly back into the markets via buying securities from Primary Dealers, it won’t reverse the course of the financial markets. Bond prices will still xxxx xxxxx (subscriber version). and yields xxxx xxxxx. Stock prices will have their usual April seasonal bump from tax revenues being used to pay down Treasury debt for a few weeks. Then they’ll xxxx xxxx.
I believe that unless the Fed returns to buying paper from the dealers, that course is set. If they do return to QE, I’ll wait and see what the market response is. Normally I’d say it would be a go, bullish. But the dealers still have the option of simply paying down debt with the proceeds of selling their Treasuries and MBS to the Fed. If they were to do that, game over.
Meanwhile, I say what I’ve been saying for the past 18 months. I would continue to xxxx xxxxx (subscriber version) bond market. If I had any long term bonds in my portfolio, which I don’t, I’d xxxx xxxxx.
Stocks will have rallies. I’ll use the TA to xxxx stocks for swing trades when they look good for that. I’ll continue to report weekly on that, and the overall technical market outlook in the Technical Trader reports.
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