The trend in inflation is confusing those in charge of monetary policy. After a significant uptick in the last part of 2017, it has really stagnated, in stark contrast with the growing dynamism of the economy.
Investors and observers have hailed the Fed’s decision to trim its balance sheet from October onwards as a turning point in the drive to normalise monetary policy. But a decline of $10 billion per month in the hefty portfolio the Fed has accumulated in recent years will hardly have any visible effect on the bond market.
In Jackson Hole, the FED and ECB Chairs have voiced concern about US plans to unravel the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act, thus undermining overall stability.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the primary reason for raising interest rates in March was a simple one: the central bank is confident in a steadily improving economy. The economy, however, has actually been deteriorating somewhat for Fed’s rate hikes.
The Fed waited more than seven years to begin the rate hiking process. Maybe she´s worried about who Trump is going to put on Board and if she´ll be on Board next year. However, trying to go faster will probably make her lose the status of “most successful fed Chairperson” ever she´s beginning to amass.
Janet Yellen intends to hold firm against market pressure as her press conference showed yesterday. The 0.25% rise in federal funds was downgraded to a modest move, wholly anticipated by investors, while hinting at a moderate path in rate hikes over the next couple of years.
James Alexander via Historinhas | Market Monetarists must hope that Mark Carney doesn’t seek to defend the pound, but let currency weakness do it’s magic, monetarily offsetting any expected economic weakness. A drop in the pound is not like a drop in the price of a company after a profit warning that reflects a weaker future.
James Alexander via Historinhas | Where are the John Maynard Keynes’ and Milton Friedman’s when you need them? The Fed, led by Janet Yellen and Stanley Fischer, has made a huge mistake in tightening monetary policy. The other members of the FOMC are largely irrelevant noise, with the possible exception of the NY Fed’s Dudley, though all carry blame.
Analysts and markets alike are already discounting a 25 basis points rise in the Fed’s core rates this week. So investors’ reaction will depend largely on Janet Yellen’s message regarding future rate hikes. A vague gradualism no longer matches the kind of unequivocal commitment the markets are waiting for. Anything short of this could fuel general volatility and unrest.