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Tags: Munson | Fed | easing | stimulus

Munson: Fed Mulls Half-Trillion Dollar Plan to Save Economy

By    |   Tuesday, 31 July 2012 07:51 AM

With hundreds of billions in stimulus having already been thrown at the economy to no avail, Lee Munson, author and chief investment officer of Portfolio LLC, predicts the Federal Reserve is going to try more of the same, only much, much bigger.

Munson believes the Federal Open Market Committee, which will announce its decision on interest rates Wednesday, is going to announce some sort of monetary policy on Wednesday.

"They've got to double-up the dose from last time," he tells Yahoo Finance’s Breakout, comparing traders to steroid addicts. "That means $500 to $700 billion of our taxpayer money," he says.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

“I think we’re probably going to get a half a trillion in some type of buying, let’s just call it quantitative easing (QE), I don’t really care how they do it,” he says.

The U.S. economy, he adds, has three legs it is standing on right now: jobs, housing and the gradual healing of commercial lending.

“I’m a big believer in jobs doing well over the last couple years. But the last couple months we’re at the bottom end of that two-year range, meaning we’ve had some really bad job numbers,” he notes.

“So, guys like me, who’ve been really bullish on employment, the numbers haven’t worked out really well,” Munson adds. “I’m starting to get a little anxious, so the Fed is just what I need to accommodate my fears.”

If bad jobs numbers continues, Munson says the Fed is going to have to print money.

The Fed has been threatening QE3 for the past few months, and “there’s a certain point where that threat has to meet some action.”

“Do I think it’s a little early to actually print the money? Sure,” he says. “But do I actually think they’re going to do it on Wednesday? Most likely they’re going to do it.”

Because the last round of QE was met with a whimper, Munson believes the next round will be at least double the amount.

“The problem with giving Wall Street steroids or stimulants is we tend to want more and more and more of it,” he notes. “So last time a couple hundred billion, $250 billion, $270 billion in buying just doesn’t cut it. If they’re going to keep that threat alive, every once in a while they will have to print. And right now they have to double up the dose from last time, and that means $500 billion to $700 billion of our taxpayer money.”

Even if the Fed does announce some QE on Wednesday, the non-farm payrolls number to be released Friday is still important.

Although employment is starting to trickle up, Munson says he needs to see some sort of uptick in employment.

“I can’t handle this crap with 80,000 here, 80,000 there. I really need to see us get above this little trough that we’re having. And I need to be convinced that we’re going to get back on track and that we’re not going to start trending down,” he says.

“So, Friday’s a big day for me because I only have a couple more bad numbers that I can take before I’m going to have to get pragmatic and maybe get on the other side of the market, which I don’t like. It’s easier to make money on the upside than the downside,” he continues.

"If you haven't done your buying last week, I think you're late to the game," he says. "You should go to the beach."

According to a recent CNNMoney survey, most Wall Street investment experts believe that more stimulus from the Fed is coming. Specifically, of the 30 experts polled, two-thirds said the Fed’s extension of its Operation Twist policy was warranted, and the same percentage believed the Fed will reconsider a QE3.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

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Tuesday, 31 July 2012 07:51 AM
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