I interrupt my regularly scheduled article to bring you more late breaking news. I'll save my historical treatise for another date as everyone seems focused on the events in Syria and whether or not the Fed will continue QE. No sense in fighting the news trend and since many of you are already talking about it, I might as well dedicate this Sunday Evening/Monday Morning post thread to Syria and QE3.
Last week was a pretty intense week with accusations that the administration is committing war crimes, a 100 point plunge in the Dow on Friday morning, and Crude getting a boost on Syria. The Syrian situation is giving a rise to saber-rattling between the US and Russia that we haven't seen since the Cold War of the 1950's and the Gulf of Tonkin. As we learned on Friday courtesy of Jim Comiskey, Russia is sending military ships to the Syrian coast
Will Russia consider a strike against Syria an international violation and act of War against the Russians?
In case you haven't seen it, on Sunday Russia issued a 100 page report saying that the Syrian rebels are behind the Sarin Gas attacks and that John Kerry and the US are liars.
"The Russian statement warned the United States and its allies not to conduct a military strike against Syria until the United Nations had completed a similarly detailed scientific study into the Aug. 21 attack. It warned that what it called the current “hysteria” about a possible military strike in the West was similar to the false claims and poor intelligence that preceded the United States invasion of Iraq."
What I'd like for you to keep in mind about Syria is that Israel has invaded Syrian airspace 3 or 4 times this year and struck surgical targets including anti ship cruise missiles. No fuss was made by US media or much discussion about it in the alternative media. Russia also has already been sending anti-ship and anti-air craft missiles to Syria, and reports indicated that they have been sending in technical experts to set up the system.
So with on going missile attacks between Israel and Syria, continued Russian involvement in the region, why has the threat of a garden variety missile strike by the US become an international incident? Has what has already been going on reached a peak? Or is there a reason the US media wants us focused on this event?
As most of you have heard by now Friday's nonfarm payroll report showed that while the economy created 169,000 new jobs, the numbers were below expectations and represented a continued drop in labor participation. Remember, the Fed has said that it is decisions regarding taper was predicated on improving unemployment.
Whether or not the Fed tapers , the threat of tapering will certainly continue to build up and any fall in the major stock indices or the metals will surely be attributed to the anticipation of the Fed tapering and it's possible impact on economic activity. As many you have noted, as well as most metal analysts, a taper would have disastrous effects on the economy. In addition, all that money that is sitting in the bank reserves is unlikely to get lent out thereby reducing reserves and threatening bank contagion, and a very inflationary situation that the Fed would find unacceptable.
As I mentioned in a previous article, the Fed has focused it's monetary policy specifically on mortgage backed securities as a swap where the reserves mostly remain with the banks. I suggested that the mantra QE to infinity does not address the ways in which the Fed could begin influencing other area's of the economy if it decided to lessen the amount of MBS it buys. Also the anticipation of what the Fed will do is occurring as the prospective new Fed chairman, Larry Summers, is going through his selection process. Larry Summer's has said that QE3 has had virtual no effect positively or negatively on the economy.
Finally, a lighter piece of news announcing the new Obama Presidential Library....it's an outhouse. It has stirred a bit of controversy in this small New Mexico town.