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Markets Call The Fed's Bluff After Downbeat Data

The Federal Reserve (aka “The Fed”) has a parrot problem, and it’s on a crash course with economic reality… maybe. The Fed sets policies that impact interest rates in an attempt to keep inflation in check without crippling the economy.  After arguably leaving rate-friendly policies intact too long in 2021, they scrambled to put the brakes on inflation in 2022 with aggressive rate hikes (higher rates leave less money to buy other “stuff,” thus hopefully lower inflation by decreasing demand). For months on end, almost every Fed speaker has parroted a version of the same few thoughts:
Inflation is too high
Rates need to go higher still
Once rates are as high as they can be, we need to keep them there for as long as we can
We don’t mind doing some economic damage if it means controlling inflation
We’d rather do damage and beat inflation than protect the economy and risk another inflation spike
We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the early 80s.
That last bullet point has obviously been a guiding principle for the Fed–repeated by almost every member.  It refers to a Fed rate cut in 1980 following a big drop in inflation. Before that, inflation had spike at an unprecedented level and the Fed hiked rates at an unprecedented level to fight it.  In short, it looked like they won.  They cut rates accordingly, but it proved to be too soon.  Monetary scholars think the subsequent rate hikes to the highest levels ever could have been avoided if the Fed didn’t declare victory so soon.
Source: mortgagenewsdaily.comNew feed

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