Let’s Do That

The extending of duration on the Fed portfolio is pretty much a done deal. Hilsenrath has outlined a possible - read leaked - footprint for the scheme. The totally useless twisting will be accompanied by adding an inflation condition to the 2013 "permanent zero" target. Here's the fun quote from the trial balloon, " Most officials agree the effects (of twisting) would be limited."

I will translate: We don't think extending duration will work but the market seems to want it and has moved in that direction so we are kinda forced to do it. The fact that when nothing happens we will be blamed for another failed policy doesn't bother us. We will embark on a less aggressive action so some will at least be able to argue the program should have been bigger.

Operation Twist has a simple metric that MUST improve or the Fed is playing with itself. Spreads to everything else have to collapse. Time will tell. Away from the twisting coordinated CB action is brewing. Staring in Brazil and Australia and moving to the developed economies of the West, a more coordinated accommodation effort could find traction. The ECB meeting today is probably too early given the mess they are in but verbiage should support this view going forward. The inflationists are regrouping.

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