Art Cashin Thinks Fed Will Force Investors' Hands

August 9, 2012 11:48 AM EDT
Today Art Cashin, UBS floor trader, weighed in with his outlook for Fed action. According to Cashin, traders are buzzing about an aggressive Operation Twist that will target mortgage backed securities.

"The goal would be to drive margin rates to dramatic lower levels not seen in history," wrote Cashin. "The strategy would be to make mortgage money so cheap that folks would virtually have to refinance. Others, seeing such low rates might be induced to buy other bargain basement priced housing and maybe rent it as income property."

If Cashin is correct, it would be another twist on an already very tangled series of actions by the Fed, which for the most part have not achieved the desired outcome.

"The Fed's problem is that all the newly created 'money' has gone unspent and unlent. To repeat an analogy I have used to explain why there is no inflation – it is as though Bernanke dropped $10 million in newly printed bills on your lawn – and you are so worried you hid them in the garage,” wrote Cashin.

In any case, it is clear that the Fed is ready to get even more creative than they have in the past. It remains to be seen if the bait will catch the desired fish or simply add more chum to the already polluted waters.

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