Shocking, I know.
(CNBC) Wall Street is having a hard time figuring out what to do now that the U.S. economy appears to be sputtering and yields are so low, Peter Yastrow, market strategist for Yastrow Origer, told CNBC.
“What we’ve got right now is almost near panic going on with money managers and people who are responsible for money,” he said. “They can not find a yield and you just don’t want to be putting your money into commodities or things that are punts that might work out or they might not depending on what happens with the economy.
“Interest rates are amazingly low and that, thanks to Ben Bernanke, is driving everything,” Yastrow said. “We’re on the verge of a great, great depression. The [Federal Reserve] knows it.“
Forget propped-up Wall Street, what about jobs?
Employment increased by 38,000 last month, the smallest increase since September, from a revised 177,000 in April, according to figures from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate in the Bloomberg News survey called for a 175,000 advance for May.
Over the previous six reports, ADP’s initial figure was closest to the Labor Department’s first estimate of private payrolls in February, when it understated the gain in jobs by 5,000. The estimate was least accurate in December, when it overestimated the increase in employment by 184,000.
WARNING / UPDATE: (06.01.2011): QE3 – Here We Go!
(CNBC) Investors should prepare themselves for a third round of quantitative easing, Simon Maughn, co-head of European equities at MF Global, told CNBC Wednesday.
“The bond market is going in one direction which is up-falling yields which is telling you quite clearly the direction of economic travel is downwards. Downgrades. QE3 (a third round of quantitative easing) is coming,” said Maughn. “The bond markets are all smarter than us, and that’s exactly what the bond markets are telling me.”
WARNING / UPDATE #2 (06.01.2011): QE3 Already Started!
(Zero Hedge) Most analysts have missed the fact that QE3 has already started in earnest. Of course, it would have been easy to miss. Ben Bernanke has not made any grand pronouncements. He hasn’t done some public thinking out loud, as he did among friends at Jackson Hole, Wyoming last August. It is not even called “QE3”. Think of it as a “stealth QE3”. But make no mistake. A new variety of quantitative easing has already begun in a big way, and is generating its desired effect.
The new QE3 is the “RISK OFF” trade. QE2 ended up pouring $600 billion into stocks, commodities, oil, gold, and silver. Since April 29, the prospect of slowing economic growth has prompted this hot money to take flight and bail from these assets classes. Think of it as the same $600 billion stampeding into risky markets, doing a 180, and then stampeding right back out again.
Where is all this money going? Into the Treasury bond market. We have in fact been in new bull market for bonds since February, taking the yield on the ten year Treasury down from 4.10% to 3.10%. If the current “RISK OFF” trade continues, or even accelerates, we could see ten year yields down to 2.0%-2.5% by the end of the summer.
In the ultimate irony, we might even see bonds peak and risk assets bottom on June 30, the day QE2 ends. Given the way that events compress and accelerate these days, I would not be surprised to see things unfold this way. This is why I have been selling short puts on the long bond ETF (TLT), and avoiding bearish bets on bonds, like the plague, such as the (TBT). It is also why I have been piling on shorts in oil and stock at every opportunity.
There is no doubt that this is Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s plan, and they have voiced as much to Washington confidents in recent weeks. The beauty of this plan is that it has no government fingerprints on it. They are getting private investors to do the heavy lifting for them. That will make them immune from attacks from anti-interventionists, like the Tea Party, and anti-Federal Reservists, like Ron Paul. Bernanke can just sit back and let natural market forces do his handiwork for him.
Clever Ben, clever.
UPDATE #3 (06.01.2011): Always fun to see Sad Hill get picked up and translated around the globe: HERE
Government handouts surpass government income: HERE
Jesse Jackson, ‘We need more stimulus’: HERE
Oops! ObamaCare ‘budget’ double-counting: HERE
We are a nation of takers, not makers: HERE
Ben Bernanke interrogated: HERE
Warren Buffet, ‘Debt good. Attitude bad.’: HERE
Big gains in the war on middle class: HERE
Budget spin meter – We’re on a road to nowhere: HERE
Bankruptcy declaration for states sought — QUIETLY: HERE
Obama, ‘I will not rest until I finish another round of golf’: HERE
Obama hits links as Japan faces nuclear meltdown: HERE
Obama reflects on his vacation, er, presidency: HERE
Destroying your hope: HERE
The consequences of entitlement: HERE
h/t: Dad, Erik, PK, Drudge