While murmurs of a potential “QE3” — that is, a third round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve — continue to hover over the stock market, Kenneth Fisher says such a plan is unnecessary.
“Everyone wants to see slowing growth in Q1 and Q2 as rock solid evidence of recession ahead — instead of normal growth rate volatility,” Fisher writes on Forbes.com. “The US economy normally decelerates sometime in the first or second year after a recovery — just where we are now. So we won’t get QE3 — not today.”
In fact, Fisher says Q2 was unnecessary. “The economy had already grown for 4 quarters when it was hinted at last August, and stocks had boomed huge off the March 2009 bottom,” he says. “It did boost sentiment some — helping stocks to a strong 2010 finish. But stocks had other reasons to cheer — strong global economic growth, big corporate profitability growth — besides the fleeting sentiment impact tied to useless money printing.”
Fisher says that almost all the money that the Fed created through QE2 wound up right back with the Fed as reserves, a result of the Fed’s policy to pay banks to keep excess reserves with Fed. Fisher says that money is a potential inflation-starter — “but to ignite, it can’t be sitting soggily at the Fed earning 0.25%.” Still, while he says it’s unnecessary, Fisher says we may end up getting a QE3 at some point down the line.