The Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee voted unanimously to raise interest by half a percentage point — the largest increase in 22 years.
But the stock market rallied when the Fed promised no 3/4-point increases are on the way. This appeared to quiet speculation that inflation was out of control and confirm there wouldn’t be any sudden large bumps in interest rates.
After downplaying inflation for the first several months of 2021 as “transitory,” the Fed is now in full crisis mode. Joe Biden and the Democrats have let slip the dogs of inflation and havoc is on the way.
Americans are struggling with rising costs everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump. Keeping prices stable is part of the Fed’s mandate, but so far inflation has kept creeping higher, leading some to wonder if the central banks is behind the curve with its policy.
But Powell fought back against that point Wednesday.
He also started Wednesday’s press conference by addressing the American people, saying “inflation is much too high, and we understand the hardship it is causing. We are moving expeditiously to bring it back down.”
Powell knows he can’t just turn off inflation like water from a faucet. There’s only so much the Fed can do to start repairing the damage done by Joe Biden and the Democrats.
To tighten monetary conditions further, the central bank will also start rolling off its massive balance sheet, which got bloated during the pandemic.
As of June, it will let $30 billion worth of Treasury securities and $17.5 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities run off every month between June and August, before upping these amounts to $60 billion and $35 billion, respectively, in September.
Politicians and consumers alike want to know the answer to the million-dollar question: will there or will there not be a recession?
Biden has yet to step up and admit the worst. He’s hoping for a miracle to save him and his party from a historic defeat. But there is no miracle in the offing.
Fox News contributor and The King’s College executive vice president of business and economics Brian Brenberg doesn’t think there’s any doubt where the economy is headed.
“Food prices are at record highs: Corn, soybeans, wheat, other key input products still at record highs. Fuel still hanging at a very high level. Those two things are going to drive inflation here,” Brenberg explained Wednesday on “Fox & Friends First.” “I don’t see a big end in sight for that.”
His comments come on expectations of a 50 basis point interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve Wednesday in a move to combat soaring inflation.
The professor cautioned decreased consumer spending motivated by increased rates will bring the economy into a recession.
High prices, high-interest rates, and probably high unemployment.
Welcome back, Jimmy Carter!
“[Businesses] stop investing, they stop hiring, which means now you’re talking about a jobs problem,” he said. “Jobs have been a fairly good news story in this economy, that could reverse with recession. That means wages start to fall, as well.”
“The inflation started to kick in in a big way last April. So now you’ve got inflation on top of inflation,” he pointed out. “Even if that rate comes down a little bit, it’s built on previous inflation, which means people are still feeling massive price hikes.”
The good news is that I’m pretty sure my bell-bottom pants still fit me, but my disco shirts are another story. Still, I could do without the 1980s nostalgia.