The Federal Reserve and Quantitative Easing!

By: Ian Campbell | Fri, Aug 24, 2012
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Why read: Because you need to keep updated on what the U.S. Federal Reserve may or may not introduce by way of further significant quantitative easing in the near and longer term. This is something many believe both the equity and physical gold markets are counting on.

Commentary: On Wednesday the U.S. Federal Reserve offered up its August summary of its current views. On Wednesday the gold price increased significantly to over U.S.$1,660, and increased a few more dollars in price yesterday.

Whether you read the article referenced in this commentary or other articles on the Fed Meeting Minutes then made public, I suggest you focus on what seems to be to be a dependence by the Federal Reserve members on short-term economic statistics.

The U.S. Federal Reserve has to be the 'most listened to' Central Bank in the world. It seems to me its members ought to be more proactive, and less reactive, to what they believe is the likely direction of the U.S. economy than they seem to be. Stated differently, I find it difficult to believe the U.S. Federal Reserve members don't collectively have a strongly held belief in where things are headed. That said, they don't seem to have a formalized strategic plan other than expressing willingness to possibly throw more quantitative easing (exact methodology yet to be announced) at the wall and see what sticks.

To the outside observer, the Federal Reserve seems to be doing little but taking a 'wait and see, and then we will respond to whatever prove to be the then existing circumstances' attitude. To the extent this observation is a fair one, it is a worrisome one.

Following from the foregoing, perhaps the U.S. Federal Reserve simply is keeping its powder as dry as it can for as long as it can because it isn't able to predict with any comfortable degree of certainty what is likely to happen economically in the Eurozone, China and the United States in the next weeks and months. In fairness, if that is indeed what is going on, the U.S. Federal Reserve's seeming procrastination makes sense to me - but if this indeed is what is going on I say 'hang on to your hat'.

Topical Reference: Top 5 takeaways from the Fed that signal QE3 is 'coming soon', from The Financial Post, Pamela Heaven, August 22, 2012 - reading time 3 minutes.



Ian Campbell

Author: Ian Campbell

Ian R. Campbell, FCA, FCBV
Business Transition Simplified

Through his website and his Business Transition & Valuation Review newsletter Ian R. Campbell shares his perspectives on business transition, business valuation and world economic and financial markets influences on those two topics. A recognized business valuation and transition authority, he founded Toronto based Campbell Valuation Partners Limited (1976). He currently is working to bring his business valuation and transition experience to both business owners and their advisors in our new economic, business and financial markets normal.

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