The 'Helicopter Economics Investing Guide' is meant to help educate people on how to make profitable investing choices in the current economic environment. We have coined this term to describe the current monetary and fiscal policies of the U.S. government, which involve unprecedented money printing. This is the official blog of the New York Investing meetup.
Markets like money printing. The Bank of England (BOE) today announced its own QE2. Statments from Fed Chair Ben Bernanke and talk of the EU recapitalizing its banks was already juicing up global stocks before the BOE took this earlier-than-expected action.
In its latest round of quantitative easing, the BOE will be purchasing 75 billion pounds in bonds. While some news reports euphemistically described this action as the BOE will be "spending" the money, the correct phraseology is that it will be "printing" this money. The BOE has previously printed 200 billion pounds to buy bonds starting in 2008 during the first credit crisis. The U.S. Fed has already engaged in two rounds of quantitative easing (only one of many ways that money can be printed) and a third should be expected.
Stocks had already turned around on Tuesday with big rallies. Fed chair Ben Bernanke made a statement that he was willing to do more to help the economy. Bernanke has been "helping" the economy since he started lowering the fed funds rate in September 2007. While he has helped the economy, the U.S. has experienced the worst recession and worst bear market since the Great Depression in the 1930s, the official unemployment numbers have remained close to double digits, the U.S. has had the largest number of bank failures since the Savings and Loan crisis, and thanks to his quantitative easing, the U.S. has been able to run a series of trillion dollar plus budget deficits that are going to lead to serious problems in the future. Why shouldn't markets rally with more of that in prospect?
In the short term, markets don't care about dire consequences that are somewhere down the road. They rally based on liquidity and money printing provides it for them. While the news that the EU is going to recapitalize its banks sounds positive, there is little if any discussion in any article about where the money is going to come from. For the answer, picture a giant printing press spewing out fresh euro bills at break net speed. Investors should also expect a lot of nationalizations as part of this process. Belgium has just announced it will take over failed bank Dexia (described by the news media as "troubled"). Dexia is the largest bank in the country.
Market volatility is common during credit crises. Investors should expect continued market selloffs interspersed with big rallies. Ultimately, money printing will not save the day however because real value can't be created out of thin air. The day that will happen, is the day that PIIGS will fly.
Author: "Inflation Investing - A Guide for the 2010s"
Organizer, New York Investing meetup
This posting is editorial opinion. There is no intention to endorse the purchase or sale of any security.