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Michael P. Regan: A love letter to the Fed from the adoring stock market
By Michael P. Regan
Bloomberg Businessweek, New York
Friday, August 21, 2020
Hey there! It's me, the stock market. I know it's weird to write you like this, but I felt like I needed to drop a quick thank-you note for everything you've done for me this year.
I mean, your big ol' balance sheet is almost $3 trillion larger since early March! You're backing up the truck and loading it with Treasuries and corporate bonds and bond ETFs, all to keep the competition to stocks from fixed-income yields as limited as Jim Cramer's understanding of me. It's been a dream come true, honestly. I mean, fess up: Have you been reading my diary?!
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Maybe you've noticed, but everything else is a royal mess. Covid-19 is still killing people. Parents are dreading the beginning of “school.” U.S. unemployment is still above 10%, higher than it's been since the 1980s. The country is facing the biggest economic contraction in its history. Corporate profits are plunging. The recession is forecast to continue at least through the first quarter of next year. And me? I'm soaring! Have you seen these record highs I've been setting?
To be honest with you, it's getting kind of wild—and I've seen plenty of weirdness before. I'm more popular with sports fans than March Madness! Of course, there was no March Madness this year, so that's not really a fair comparison—kind of like comparing my dividend payouts to yields in the bond market. Amirite, or amirite? LOL! ...
... For the remainder of the commentary:
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