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Contra Corner

China Syndrome May Return to Suck US Stocks Down

In May and June of 2013, the US stock market had a little shakeout that came to be known as the "Taper Tantrum." Ben Bernanke had started talking about slowing the rate of the Fed's purchases of Treasuries and MBS under the Fed's program of money printing and bond buying called Quantitative Easing (QE). The Fed had been monetizing US debt since 2oo9. That's when it began regularly buying hundreds of billions of dollars of Treasury and mortgage paper that ultimately drove the size of the Fed's assets to $2.75 trillion today from $700 billion in 2008. Over that time The Street had slowly but surely reached the consensus that the Fed's QE had something to do with the bull market in stocks.