Adam Parker: QE3 Inadequate

The Bangles, an American all-female band that originated in the early 1980s, scored several hit singles during the decade. Susanna Hoffs joined sisters Vicki and Debbi Peterson and Annette Zilinskas to form the band in Los Angeles.

The Bangles and their friendly 80s synthpop sound came to the attention of Prince. Prince wrote the song “Manic Monday” for the group and it went on to become a No. 2 hit in the US, the UK and Germany, outsold at the time only by Prince’s own composition, “Kiss”.

Today, it was just another manic Monday for the markets. Weak Chinese data combined with more general fears about the global economic outlook offset the expected impact of a new US Federal Reserve asset buying program and the signal from the Bank of Japan that it too will act boldly and flexibly when necessary to support its economy.

The MiningFeeds mining stock indexes were a sea of red today with the Silver Index leading the decline (-3.12%) while the Potash Index was the least impacted paring just -0.29%.

According to Morgan Stanley chief equity strategist Adam Parker, the US Federal Reserve will soon find its new program inadequate.

“QE3 will likely be insufficient to significantly boost equity markets and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Fed dramatically augment this program (i.e., QE4) before year-end,” Parker said in a research note.

He said the probability that the Fed will need to beef up the program will increase “particularly if economic and corporate news continue to deteriorate as they have over the past few weeks.”

In his note to clients this morning Adam Parker highlights a number of key points concerning the Fed’s QE programs:

  • For every $10 billion in additional purchases of mortgage-backed securities by the Fed, the S&P 500 was boosted by about 0.25 percent the following week.
  • The stock market did better in weeks when the Fed bought more assets.
  • The stock market did better when the Fed purchased MBS than when the Fed purchased Treasuries.
  • The following week’s stock market returns were not significantly correlated with the previous week’s purchases, suggesting that the effect of QE purchases on stocks is pretty short-lived.
  • Furthermore, while the effect of QE purchase on stocks is statistically significant, it’s not that statistically significant – for the statistically literate, Parker says that “T-stats are only in the 2’s.”
  • There are diminishing returns to asset purchases under quantitative easing programs.
  • QE usually benefits growth stocks and junk stocks the most, with healthcare the top sector and discretionary and telecom stocks as relative underperformers.
Just another manic Monday.

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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