By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, UK Telegraph:
It is the clearest warning shot to date that global investors will not tolerate Ben Bernanke's openly-declared policy of generating inflation for much longer.
Soaring bourses may have stolen the headlines, but equities are rising for an unhealthy reason: because they are a safer asset class than bonds at the start of an inflationary credit cycle.
Meanwhile, the price of US crude oil jumped $2.5 a barrel to $87. It is up 20pc since markets first concluded in early September that 'QE2' was a done deal.
This amounts to a tax on US consumers, transferring US income to Mid-East petro-powers. Copper has behaved in much the same way. So have sugar, soya, and cotton.
The dollar plunged yet again. That may have been the Fed's unstated purpose. If so, Washington has angered the world's rising powers and prompted a reaction with far-reaching strategic consequences.
Li Deshui from Beijing's Economic Commission said a string of Asian states share China's "deep bitterness" over dollar debasement, and are examining ways of teaming up to insulate themselves from the tsunami of US liquidity. Thailand said its central bank is already in talks with neighbours to devise a joint protection policy.
Brazil's central bank chief Henrique Mereilles said the US move had created "excessive dollar liquidity which we are absorbing," forcing his country to restrict inflows. Mexico's finance minister warned of "more bubbles."
These countries cannot easily shield themselves from the inflationary effect of QE2 by raising interest rates since this leads to further "carry trade" inflows in search of yield. They are being forced to eye capital controls, with ominous implications for the interwoven global system.
In London and Frankfurt the verdict was just as harsh. "In our view, this is one of the greatest policy mistakes in the Fed's history," said Toby Nangle from Baring Asset Management.
.....Of course, it is precisely this open door that has so juiced risk trades, from Australian dollar futures, to silver contracts, and junk bonds. Goldman Sachs thinks QE2 will ultimately reach $2 trillion, with no exit until 2015. Such moral hazard is irresistible. It is the Bernanke 'super-put'.....read in full