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Fed’s QE2: ‘2’ little, ‘2’ late?

Commentary: Centrists push back in latest election

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The Federal Reserve's quantitative easing (QE2) announcement was so perfectly pre-leaked that credit markets did not move on the fact (exception: 30-year Treasurys, see below). Other knees jerked: the dollar fell and commodities rose, presuming inflation from QE money-printing. The reaction to QE2 thus far is off the point: "It's the economy, stupid!" The economy in October actually showed some signs of life -- not health, but an end to the summer's downtrend. Payrolls picked up 151,000 jobs (details were not so "strong"); the twin Institute for Supply Management October surveys beat the prior month and forecasts: manufacturing to 56.9 from 54.4, and the service sector to 54.3 from 53.2. Industrial production jumped 2.1 percent in September, and autos to a 12-million annual pace, gently improving all year. Housing is still deteriorating. The brand-new guide to underwriters at Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. (MGIC), covering 73 metro areas, found 27 &...