Ben Bernanke finally did the deed. He tapered his quantitative easing program, from $85 to $75 billion a month. I thought he would wait until next month for incoming Fed governor Janet Yellen to take the helm, and the responsibility. It was not to be.
The good news for followers of my Trade Alert Service was that it didn?t matter. $85 or $75 billion is really six of one and half dozen of another, almost. As we used to say on the trading desk at Morgan Stanley, just take the difference out of my next paycheck. It is a win-win, which I had expected.
The one certainty today was that the Fed would make a decision. Now that it?s out of the way, stocks can only go up.
Market?s reacted as if there had been no taper at all. Stocks and the dollar rocketed, led by financials, technology, health care, and industrials. Softbank gapped up and is approaching a new high for the year. Bonds, gold, volatility, and the yen collapsed. My model trading portfolio is almost a perfect reflection of what you should be doing with your money.
Big Ben?s incredibly dovish talk we received during the press conference that followed was fantastic news for risk assets everywhere. It means that interest rates will remain lower for longer than most expected. ?Highly accommodative money monetary policy remains appropriate? is still ringing in my ears. This will remain the case until unemployment falls ?well below 6.5%? and inflation returns to 2%. ?The Fed balance sheet will continue to expand.?
What all this does is deliver a ?goldilocks? scenario for the foreseeable future. The potential disasters for January, a Fed taper and a Washington shut down have suddenly gone missing.
Ben?s Christmas present to us all is a printing press to print money in the markets for the next three months.