Here is all you really need to know regarding the unprecedented Fed “openness” that will be on display this afternoon:
As you know, The Fed is trying to walk a tightrope. The overwhelming deficit and debt of the U.S. government is requiring fresh funding to the tune of about $1.5T/year. There are no buyers. Left with no other option, the Fed “digitizes” money to fund the daily operations of the government. Without this intervention, rates would skyrocket. In a natural market, rates would rise until they reached a point where investors felt compensated for the principal and inflation risk they are assuming. What would that rate be? It’s impossible to say for sure but it certainly isn’t 3.5%. If the natural buyer/seller equilibrium of 7% or 10% was allowed to be achieved, three very bad things would happen:
1) U.S. economic activity would essentially stop.
2) This would collapse tax revenue, further exacerbating the debt/deficit issue.
3) The “interest component” of the national debt would more than double in a short period of time, again further exacerbating the deb/deficit issue.
Left with no alternative, quantitative easing continues. The problem is, as you well know, that QE is killing the dollar and causing meteoric rises is almost all things dollar-denominated. This only further serves to build in even more inflation risk into any bond investment. This forces the Fed to print even more money as even more potential buyers shun U.S. treasuries. Its a very unpleasant cycle and one that will end badly.
For now (and the reason for the press conference), the problem is the rapidly falling dollar. Go back up and look at the charts. You can clearly see that, for the time being, The Bernank has more wiggle room in the Long Bond than he does in the POSX. Critical support for the Long Bond is down around 114. Critical support for the POSX is around 72. So, expect Ben to be just “hawkish” enough that the POSX rallies and the bond sells off. He’ll try to be “not too hot and not too cold”. It might even work…for a day or two. Then sanity will prevail and market participants will get back to the fundamental picture described above. QE is not ending. It can’t. The dollar will reverse and, in a week or so, it will likely be right back to where it is this morning, if not lower.
What does this all mean for the metals today?
As I’ve stated ad nauseam, pattern suggests that the metals will trade higher from here into the end of next week. However, as I’ve also stated ad nauseam, TA can only take you so far in markets that are so blatantly and openly manipulated. Simply stated, no amount of chart reading can allow someone to predict exactly what the lying shill Bernank will say today. For the next 24 hours or so, we’re all flying blind.
To that end, it dawned on me that this would be another great day for a contest!! From now until 1:00 EDT, this thread can be used to place your guesses so that may win you your own, autographed yellow hat. For today’s contest, you must pick the combined price of gold and silver as of 5:15 EDT, when the Globex closes for the day. For example, if you think that gold will be $1506.80 and silver will be 45.45, then your guess is 1552.25.
From ZH, here’s your schedule of events.
Below is an expected timeline of events, reproduced from Monday’s US Daily:
12:30pm – FOMC statement released.The Fed’s website gives the time as “around 12:30pm”, which will come as no surprise to Fed watchers used to twiddling their thumbs for several minutes after the scheduled release time. (Just to keep market participants on their toes, the statement does occasionally come out a minute or two before the scheduled time.)
2:15pm – Press conference begins. We expect Fed Chairman Bernanke to make an introductory statement which will feature the FOMC’s projections for growth, unemployment and inflation (but probably not the detailed distribution of these forecasts nor discussion of the staff’s forecasts). An article published today on the Wall Street Journal website (“Federal Reserve Irons Out Details of Post-Meeting Press Conference”, by Jon Hilsenrath) implied that any introduction is likely to be very short. According to the article, additional published information on the FOMC forecasts, along the lines of Table 1 in the Fed minutes from the January 25-26 meeting, will be made available on the Fed website at this time. Assuming this is correct, it would imply that detailed information on the distribution of forecasts, and on the staff’s economic forecasts, would not be revealed until the publication of the minutes (though of course these subjects could surface during the question and answer session).
ca. 2:25pm – Question and answer session begins.This is a live session with journalists, who are likely to be well prepared with probing questions. The questions have not been submitted to the Fed in advance.
Sometime around 3pm or slightly after – Press conference ends.The typical length of an ECB press conference in recent years has been about 45 minutes, perhaps a little longer recently. The aforementioned WSJ article suggested a similar length for the Fed’s first conference.
Have a fun day. If anyone out there can help out The Turd by making another spreadsheet with all the guesses, it would be greatly appreciated. TF