Thoughts Offerings blog has an interesting piece on how QE actually does not encourage traditional bank lending via deposit creation, but instead encourages lending through security issuance. I recommend the reading, it ties a lot of things together neatly.
If we take this post a little further, given that lending via security issuance is currently frozen on the consumer debt side, those benefiting from QE are those with access to capital markets: large corporations, financial intermediaries (who take fees on issuing, buying/selling securities), and the Government, but not the consumer or small business (except as recipient of Government welfare or subsidies). As a result, domestic demand is poor, which leads companies to invest and grow their revenues abroad (BRIC in particular), bringing rampant inflation in emerging economies and taking the dollar down. This is a self-reinforcing feedback loop.
Two things follow:
- the biggest risk to this growth is a slowdown in BRIC countries, China in particular. The reflation trade could easily morph into a vicious deflationary force as dollars are repatriated, assets sold, debts paid back, preference for safety over risk, short-term duration over long-term, returns.
- with consumer and small business loans still going down, paradoxically encouraged by QE as the Thoughts Offerings post expose, there is a major opportunity for peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. This is an area where lawmakers could have a huge impact with no dollar spent, just a regulation signed. Maybe they could even win an election with this one!