Today the Federal Reserve released its minutes that sent some mixed messages about the economy and the U.S. dollar. As we are all aware, the “official” policy is for a strong-dollar as per Treasury Secratary Geithner. Of course we also hear how important it is to keep America’s exports competitive from Paul Volker. So, which is it boys?
The Fed is clearly keeping the pressure on the dollar and in the recent minutes has said that the dollars fall has been “orderly”.
This is orderly?
The minutes also revealed that unemplyment will be elevated for some time with the unemplyment rate estimated to be 9.3% – 9.7% in the 4th quarter for 2010. In addition, it only is estimated to drop to 6.8% – 7.5% by the end of 2012. So far they have been way off..so why do we believe them now?
GDP is estimated to 3.4% to 4.5% in 2011 with inflation projected to be 1% -1.9%.
What most of this means is that we are still mired in a jobless recovery (whatever that really is) which is dependent on the government funding a good part of our population. Think of it like an ICU unit in which the patient is still not well enough to come off life support.
But it is clear that the Fed minutes were aimed directly as China as the discussion of the orderly dollar was meant to appease China’s concerns. Last week, Chinese leaders commented about the excess speculation that has been born out of the low cost of lending by the U.S, as well as the weak dollar. In fact, you could say that while they are pegging their currency to the dollar, the do not want to see a total collapse as it is not in their best interest either.
Less politics, more substance would be nice for a change.
Disclosure: Horowitz & Company clients may hold positions of securities mentioned as of the date published.