September 17, 2012
After the Fed's announcement last Thursday of an open-ended bond-buying program (QE-infinity for a moniker, perhaps?), the Bank of Japan will vote on monetary policy this week. Will the BoJ follow the Fed down a similar path? Who knows? With the country now into its third "lost decade," the matter is hardly urgent, surely.
And speaking of QE-infinity, the Financial Times published an article on its website yesterday saying that the program, which will focus on mortgage-backed securities, is unlikely to have an impact on mortgage rates, as lenders struggle to process mortgage applications fast enough. The time between agreeing a loan and closing has now risen from one month to up to three months.
One area in which the Fed's action had an immediate impact, however, was in the trading of bank shares. Daily volume in JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ) shares were substantially above their three-month average on Thursday and Friday. With strong grains across financials last week, banks are giving back some of those back this morning, pulling the Dow (INDEX: ^DJI ) down with them. However, that won't matter to long-term investors who own The Only Big Bank Built to Last.