The end of QE2 does not mean the end of the party for credit, and the U.S. economic expansion will stay on track after June 30, said ING Investment Management fixed-income experts on Tuesday in New York.
“The strategic view is that we’re overthinking this thing,” said Christine Hurtsellers, ING Investment Management’s chief investment officer of fixed income and propriety investments, of the Federal Reserve’s second round of quantitative easing, scheduled to finish on the last day of the second quarter.
The end of QE2 will pass quietly because the Fed’s plan to inject liquidity into the U.S. economy has essentially worked, according to the ING experts. Gross domestic product will be higher in the second quarter, inflation is not a serious near-term risk, and the Fed won’t raise rates until 2012, they predict. In addition, U.S. companies are now stable enough that they can create a self-sustaining recovery.
While the recovery has been a slow and fragile one, companies enjoy plenty of liquidity, and even consumers are now taking on more debt, noted Paul Zemsky (left), chief investment officer of multi-asset strategies.
“Our view is that the end of QE2 is a risk but it’s not the training wheels falling off the economy,” Zemsky said. As for the average American, he added, “we’re in an expansion but to most people it doesn’t feel like it.”
In fact, they say, the end of QE2 will create a great opportunity in credit and risk assets in what will be a continued low-rate environment in the near term.