March 17, 2016
On the heels of the Fed’s decision not to raise rates, today Peter Boockvar sent King World News a fantastic piece discussing the Fed’s decision and the subsequent surge in the gold market.
Peter Boockvar: For the past few years the Fed has been chipping away at the concept that they are driving monetary policy dependent on the data that they see. We know that because they kept changing the rules of the game in that every time a goal was reached the goal was altered. Well, I believe it is safe to say that after yesterday’s FOMC statement, the Yellen press conference and what was said in them, the communication and structural strategy of ‘data dependency’ has been officially neutered. The Fed’s goal is now a perfect world. As we of course will never get there, the rest of us are left flying blind as to what to expect from monetary policy…
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Peter Boockvar continues: In the mean time, the Federal Reserve is essentially short commodities, short the dollar, short gold, short multi family landlords, short the never ending ability of healthcare costs to go up, etc…They are sitting with an effective fed funds rate of just .36% just as the inflation stats are accelerating and the employment rate at 4.9% is below the 50 year average of 6.2%. It was the most bizarre thing to watch the dovishness yesterday on the day the core CPI rate touched 2.3%, the fastest rate of gain in almost 8 years. It was like watching a child that puts their hands over its eyes and thinks it disappeared. They suspend reality for a moment.
As to the Fed’s worries about overseas growth, they will be waiting a long time if they think European growth is going to reaccelerate and they will be waiting a very long time if they think Chinese growth is going to reaccelerate. Their focus on wage growth is noble, we all want it to be more but they are focused on nominal wage growth where they should be looking at REAL wage growth. They want 2% inflation but if wage growth just matches that then what is the point. If what the Fed fears is going the opposite way to the actions of the BoJ and ECB because they are afraid of a stronger dollar, then just say it but remember exports are only 13% of the US economy and we have a trade deficit and thus buy more than we sell overseas.
The Rush To Gold Continues
I’ll finish by saying that savers are getting screwed again. Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen should never travel to Florida for their own safety. There is currently about $10 Trillion of idle money sitting in savings accounts yielding about nothing. Check out these rates at Bank of America, https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/bank-account-interest-rates.go.
If you have a standard rate savings account you can collect .03% per year in interest. If you are lucky enough to be a Platinum Honors member than you can DOUBLE that with a .06% rate! If 2% inflation is what we will soon get, it will drain $200 Billion in purchasing power from the $10 Trillion of savings if the Fed doesn’t keep up and continue raising rates. It is no wonder that gold is finally gaining some traction to the upside and I believe it will continue to do so. Gold is just a few bucks from a 13 month high.