Gartman: Talk of More Fed Easing is Premature

Wednesday, 07 Sep 2011 12:36 AM

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The economy added no jobs in August, fueling sentiment that the Federal Reserve will intervene in the financial system with the aim fueling stronger growth rates through a policy known as quantitative easing.

Fed watchers would be wise to temper those expectations, says Dennis Gartman, investor and author of The Gartman Letter.

"I don't think the Fed will be that quick to respond," Gartman tells CNBC.

"If you get another poor number next month then perhaps by October or November you might see QE3."

The Fed has already rolled out two rounds of quantitative easing (QE1 and QE2), where it bought assets from banks in an effort to pump those banks and markets full of money in hopes that more hiring and economic growth will follow.

Since the economy remains sluggish and hiring weak, talk of a similar policy — dubbed QE3 for now — is picking up.

Others agree, however, that QE3 should not be a foregone conclusion, since weak jobs data could reflect past economic performance.

"We have to remember that jobs are a lagging indicator," Jeremy Stretch, head of currency strategy at CIBC, tells CNBC.

QE2, a $600 billion bond buyback designed to pump up the stock market that ended in June, did fuel a rally, although some market watchers say fresh Fed intervention might not be enough to fight off growing fears that the U.S. is doomed to remain stuck in the doldrums.

"This downdraft is based on sentiment and that has to be turned around," says Brian Battle, vice president of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago, according to Reuters.

"I think we're in for a longer trend of either malaise or just a down channel."

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