The Fed just spoke. Here’s a slightly edited transcript:
Blah blah blah … the economy has been expanding moderately … blah blah blah boilerplate inanity blatant lie … the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability ….
To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions–including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run–are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.
This of course comes as no surprise to anyone. But seeing it in print had exactly the impact you’d expect. Stocks erased their early losses, the dollar tanked, and precious metals soared. With good reason. It is now the stated policy of the US government to have negative real interest rates for years to come (eons in trader-time).
The carrying cost of gold and silver bullion will remain more or less zero, while all manner of “risk-on” strategies and carry trades will generate virtually guaranteed returns. Think back a decade or so and ask your younger, more naive self what the result of open-ended zero interest rates would be. You’d have probably said “that will never happen, but if it did, gold and silver would go parabolic”. You’d be half right. Grab those junior miners with both hands.