For a while there, it seemed that even the densest of career economists who try to pass for stock pundits on financial comedy TV, were starting to get that without the Fed’s (and the ECB’s, and the BOE’s, and the BOJ’s) QE, the market would be much, much lower (whether 500 points lower as Gundlach suggested or much more, remains unclear). After all: by now it should have been clear to most that QE is doing nothing for the economy, and everything for the stock and bond market (here we certainly agree: there is a bond bubble, which by implication there is an even more massive stock bubble too – anyone who says the two are unlinked can be immediately put on mute).
This is why we presented this chart previously:
And is also why in January, we showed this update of the calendar days with and without QE:
And yet, judging by the roster of TV guests appearing on assorted cable stations, the confusion is back again.
So just to set the record straight, and make it so easy even Jeremy Siegel gets it, below is a chart showing the absolute performance of the S&P, starting with March 18, 2009 when full-blown QE1 was announced, and adding up all the S&P points “gained” under some QE regime: QE1 (2009-2010), QE2 (2010-2011), Operation Twist, QE3 and QE4 (2011 until today) on one hand, while subtracting all the S&P points “lost” when there was no QE or no advance notification of QE from the Fed, such as the period from the end of QE1 (March 31, 2010) until the QE2 announcement at Jackson Hole in August 2010, and from the end of QE2 on June 30, 2011 until the start of Operation Twist on September 21, 2011.
The chart below is sufficiently self-explanatory that not even career economists will need assistance to grasp it.
One final point: for all those who say the Fed’s QE has “been successful”, or the stock market is sufficiently strong and does not need any more forced liquidity injections, here is a simple suggestion: just end it.