Druckenmiller: Fed lost chance for a 'freebie' in not tapering
The Federal Reserve lost its chance for a "freebie" by deciding not to begin scaling back its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program because the markets had already factored in the taper, hedge fund pro Stanley Druckenmiller told CNBC on Thursday.
"We're going into extra innings. Maybe the punch bowl was running out and just about dry and two waiters are carrying this new punch in. We're really going to party now," the founder of hedge fund Duquesne Capital, added in a "Squawk Box" interview.
The big money on Wall Street had been betting on a Fed taper, he explained, saying the Fed lost the opportunity on Wednesday to get off the "dope."
The stock market move to record highs on the Fed's inaction is great for the rich, but the wealth effect of quantitative easing bond purchases will be negative after the exit, he argued. "This is the biggest redistribution of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the rich ever. Who owns assets—the rich, the billionaires."
Druckenmiller is among those billionaires, but explained that as a citizen this concerns him. But "as a money manager and a wealthy person that deals in markets, this is great for me," he continued, "But I don't think this is great for America."
Druckenmiller argued that the Fed's lack of action will make it much harder for the next central bank chairman to start tapering.
He doesn't like the efforts of transparency in this Fed, saying that it's led to more market volatility and confusion.
The first round of quantitative easing to help boost the economy was courageous, bold, and effective, Druckenmiller continued. But he said he was not in favor of QE2.
When the QE exit actually happens, there will be unintended consequences, he said, adding that asset prices will adjust quickly.
But for now, "it's great for gold on an intermediate basis," he predicted. "And it's great for risk assets. At some point it will end, 1999-2000 ended. I don't know when this will end. I think the risk-reward is pretty good for risk assets."
In August 2010, Druckenmiller closed his Duquesne hedge fund, and now trades his own money. At that time, the fund he started in 1981 had more than $12 billion in assets. Druckenmiller made a name for himself working with billionaire investor George Soros.