Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gavyn Davies: "The consequences of shrinking the Fed’s balance sheet"

This has the potential to be the most important econ/finance/market story of the second half of this year.
From Mr. Davies' blog at the Financial Times, May 14, 2017:
The Federal Reserve is actively considering a profound change in US monetary policy, in effect the reversal of quantitative easing (QE). In its March meeting, the FOMC discussed its strategy for the future run down of its balance sheet, and said that further debate would take place in upcoming meetings.

The FOMC has already concluded that “a change in the Committee’s reinvestment policy would likely be appropriate later this year” and that this would need to be flagged “well in advance”. The minutes to the May meeting (to be published on 24 May) will probably provide some further indication about their thinking on this important topic.

Investors are therefore beginning to focus on the possible consequences of the reversal of QE on interest rates and the shape of the yield curve.

In a previous column, I outlined the likely path for the US central bank balance sheet under the new policy, and predicted that this would cause global QE to turn negative in 2019, after being consistently positive by about 2 percentage points of global GDP in every year since 2011. The great unknown is whether this reversal of central bank support will remove the underpinnings from the bond market, risk assets and the global economic upswing. I take the optimistic side of this debate, but investor opinion is sharply divided on the matter....MUCH MORE
Narayana Kocherlakota  followed up this morning at Bloomberg: 
The Fed Is Making a $2 Trillion Mistake

HT both: Economist's View