The saved us in 2009 from a 1930's style Depression, saved the banking system and jolted the stock market off the canvas and perhaps to NEW ALL TIME HIGHS.
It put a bottom in the housing market and has allowed many to refinance at MUCH LOWER RATES, slowing down the dominoes of foreclosures. STILL, as many as 25% of all homeowners are still under water, owing more than they paid. Taking out home equity loans was one of the underpinnings of consumer spending and fueling our economy until the bubble burst.
Before 2009, there were options for investors, especially those near or in retirement to get a safe return on their money through Bonds, money market funds, savings in general. The landscape has changed dramatically, and if you didn't play the REFLATION GAME, you were left at best running in place at near 0% returns on anything lock solid safe.
The FED targeted stocks for price appreciation, can one really blame them faced with financial annihilation?
Now it's 2013, still 5 years later Fed Funds rate is at effectively 0%, savings return.....the principal, not much else. The Fed has been buying up MBS and Treasuries at a monthly $85B clip, take this away and the cookies crumble. There is a HUGE GULF disconnect in stocks and the fundamentals.
Yes, it could have been worse so it seems. but have we just kicked the can down the road, and if we come to that financial fork in road again, what more can the FED DO? It's more of the same QE strategy has been returning less and less. if you hadn't noticed, last years GDP was barely 1.5%,
and last qtr was just barely, but was negative. Unemployemnt is still near 8%, and gas prices are at record high this time of year, avg price $4 a gallon. Wages are stagnant, Americans are just keeping up wth rising costs, not getting ahead, not saving....not spending like they used to. COnsumer Sentiment is NOWHERE near its normal levels, and that along with most of the data are at historical lows for a recovery.
Now the Gov't is forced to some level of austerity, at same time trying to raise more revenue. Businesses are reluctant to add employees, health care costs rising.
I don't know how this will turn out, but I feel like the Bear market has been fought tooth and claw, and maybe the piper in the end will be paid in a lesser amount due to CB'er actions.
OR, on top of failing policies that won't reignite a BULL MKT ECONOMY vs just a BULL MKT in stocks, the gas will have to come off the pedal, and where will the eventual correction take us? i think a lot lower, somewhere below SPX 800, though I am not sure if any NEW low will be seen in our lifetime.
There is one powerful formation still IN PLAY, the bearish megaphone pattern that began in 2000, top is near SPX 1600.....that is an area, should we muddle up there will be exciting to see how that plays out.
I've always felt, you cannot print yourself to prosperity, you can forstall certain events....but maybe not avoid them altogether