Thursday, July 12, 2012

Stocks would be 50% lower without Federal Reserve money printing

A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggests that the bulk of equity returns for more than a decade are due to actions by the US central bank.

Theoretically, the S&P 500 would be more than 50 percent lower—at the 600 level—if the bullish price action preceding Fed announcements was excluded, the study showed.

Posted on the New York Fed’s web site Wednesday, the study sought out to explain why equities receive such a high premium over less risky assets such as bonds.

What they found was that the Federal Reserve has had an outsized impact on equities relative to other asset classes.

For example, the market has a tendency to rise in the 24-hour period before the release of the Fed’s statement on interest rates and the economy, presumably on expectations Chairman Ben Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, would discuss or implement a stimulus measure to lift asset prices. more