martedì 28 settembre 2010

Il dollaro, la Fed e la corsa all'oro

Riuscirà la Fed a rimettere in moto il sistema del credito negli U.S.A., a rilanciare economia e occupazione e ad allontanare ora e per sempre lo spettro della deflazione? Sono in molti a chiederselo, e lo scetticismo aumenta ogni giorno. A dispetto dei proclami l'effetto principale delle azioni della Fed sembra essere sulle valute, dove si combatte quotidianamente una battaglia che vede ormai schierate le truppe delle tre superpotenze del Pacifico (Cina, Giappone e Stati Uniti). Nella suo commento settimanale all'economia e ai mercati John Mauldin analizza le ultime dichiarazioni della Fed, soffermandosi sulla possibilità che un nuovo round di Quantitative Easing (QE) riesca a rimettere in moto la macchina del credito negli U.S.A., giungendo a conclusioni poco incoraggianti:

If banks are not lending now, with what seems like lots of reserves, then what is to make us think that another $2 trillion in QE will make them feel like they have too much money in their vaults? If it is because they don't have enough capital, then adding liquidity to the system will not help that. If it is because they don't feel they have creditworthy customers, do we really want banks to lower their standards? Isn't that what got us into trouble last time? If it is because businesses don't want to borrow all that much because of the uncertain times, will easy money make that any better? As someone said, "I don't need more credit, I just need more customers."
How much of an impact would $2 trillion in QE give us? Not much, according to former Fed governor Larry Meyer, who, according to Morgan Stanley, "...maintains a large-scale macro-econometric model of the US economy that is widely used in the private sector and in public policy-making circles. These types of models are good for running 'what if?' simulations. Meyer estimates that a $2 trillion asset purchase program would: 1) lower Treasury yields by 50bp; 2) increase GDP growth by 0.3pp in 2011 and 0.4pp in 2012; and 3) lower the unemployment rate by 0.3pp by the end of 2011 and 0.5pp by the end of 2012. However, Meyer admits that these may be 'high-end estimates'.
"Some probability of a resumption of asset purchases is already priced in, and thus a full 50bp response in Treasuries is unlikely. Moreover, a model such as Meyer's is based on normal historical relationships and therefore assumes that the typical transmission mechanisms are working. For example, a drop in Treasury yields would lower borrowing costs for consumers and businesses, helping to stimulate consumption, business investment and housing. But there is good reason to believe that the transmission mechanism is at least partially broken at present, and thus the pass-through benefit to the economy associated with a small decline in Treasury yields (relative to current levels) would likely be infinitesimal." (Morgan Stanley)

Mentre l'effetto diretto del QE sull'economia U.S.A. sembra essere discutibile, l'effetto sul dollaro è lampante, e Mauldin maliziosamente insinua che possa essere questo il vero obiettivo della Fed:

That is not much bang for the buck, so to speak, but it would be pointing a gun with a very big bang at the valuation of the dollar. If QE were attempted on that scale, it would not be good for the dollar. My call for the pound and the euro to go to parity with the dollar would be out the window for some time, and maybe for good.
Now, if the strategy is to lower the dollar, then QE might make some sense; but of course no one would admit to that, not when we are accusing other countries of manipulating their currencies (as in China). No, we would just be fighting deflation. The fact that the dollar dropped would just be a coincidence, a necessary but sad thing in the important fight against deflation. (Please note tongue firmly in cheek. Not you, of course, but some other readers sometimes miss my sarcasm.)

Se non vi sentite pronti a speculare sul mercato valutario, e avete una qualche esposizione ai dollari che volete coprire, l'hedge naturale è sicuramente l'oro, che sembra guadagnare a ogni incertezza del quadro macroeconomico (dollaro, debito sovrano, inflazione, ecc.). Secondo il Wall Street Journal la prossima tappa è quota 1300 (dollari l'oncia):

Gold continued its record run and moved closer to $1,300 an ounce on the Federal Reserve's acknowledgment it was ready to do more to stimulate the U.S. economy.
The dollar weakened sharply after the Fed's Tuesday statement on the view that more purchases of assets such as Treasurys would inject more cash into the economy and devalue the greenback.
The Fed's willingness to, in its words, "provide additional accommodation," widely interpreted as a stance toward a looser money policy, underscores the bank's grim assessment of the economy's health. This, together with other central banks' measures to intervene in markets, has pushed investors into the relative security of gold.
"There appears to be little in the way of factors that could negatively impact the gold market in the coming months," said BNP Paribas analyst Anne-Laure Tremblay. (...)
Many investors have been recently targeting $1,300. September historically is a strong month for the metal, as it is underpinned by high demand from Asia during festival and wedding seasons there.(...)
American Precious Metals Advisors Managing Director Jeffrey Nichols said he sees "no end in sight" for the gold rally, reiterating his view that prices could reach $1,500 by year end, with higher prices likely in the years ahead.
J.P. Morgan Chase fund manager Ian Henderson, who manages $7 billion in natural-resource assets, said he is positive on gold, having increased his fund's exposure to 38% from 32% six months ago.
Mr. Henderson, who said it wouldn't be unrealistic to suggest prices may reach $1,350 before year end, has been gradually increasing his exposure to the metal on the back of both its steady price advance and a more-robust performance by many gold miners.
Calyon Credit Agricole has also raised its three-month outlook, up to a high of $1,350, from a previous forecast of $1,260. But analyst Robin Bhar continues to expect a pullback in prices in the longer term.
"I suppose we have become more bullish in the short-term because of the possibility of quantitative easing," Bhar said. "But beyond that the result of the stimulus should be stronger growth. The middle of next year we should also see a rebound in the dollar and that is definitely going to moderate some of the bullishness in the market."

3 commenti:

giovanni.gambino ha detto...

certo che ad oggi la fed ha fallito uno dei suoi due obiettivi: ridurre la disoccupazione.

giovanni.gambino ha detto...

il qe inoltre potrebbe riequilibrare i rapporti di forza tra il rmb e il dollaro, indebolendo quest'ultimo e costringendo il primo a una maggiore e necessaria svalutazione.

giovanni.gambino ha detto...