When Will Fed-Created Melt-Up Turn Into a Meltdown?

By Russ Winter  APR 08, 2011 10:15 AM

As the Federal Reserve buys up Treasuries, commodities and oil continue to inflate.

 


The following chart says it all. The Fed’s aggressive Treasury monetization has been the causa proxima (90-percent correlation) to the peddle-to-the-metal Minsky Meltup in commodities. I suspected this would be the effect but confess I did not believe the Fed and government could be so irrational as to attempt it, especially with the blowback evident by year end. Though I am one of the most persistent critics of the Fed, this exceeded even my worst fears. This is what Bernanke refers to as “temporary” inflation. Nor did I anticipate the markets ignoring such clear and present danger. The transmission of this inflation disease appears to take about six months, which corresponds to the MIT price survey I have been using. It, too, now shows that inflation is in full swing.



The question now: When does the meltup switch into a full-fledged meltdown of the global economy? In spite of all warning signs that the Fed has ignored over the past few months, the switchover is now transmitting at such a rapid pace that it could happen in either one great shock or in a series. In my view, the 320 level on the CRB was more than enough to trigger the switch, and it corresponds with the first riots in Tunisia and then Egypt. If the Fed continues its purchases, we can calculate that each new $100 billion of Treasury purchased will add about 5 percent to the commodity index and $7 to oil. It takes four weeks for the Fed to purchase $100 billion in Treasuries. What a game of chicken being played out and right before our eyes! You can sense the collision, flying glass, blood, and bones at almost any moment. If the Fed desists or scales down its Treasury buying, the stark trillion dollar question becomes who will buy them?



Editor's Note: This article was originally posted on The Wall Street Examiner's Winter Watch.


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