Most Popular
1. THE INFLATION MONSTER is Forecasting RECESSION - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Why APPLE Could CRASH the Stock Market! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Stocks Stealth BEAR Market - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Inflation, Commodities and Interest Rates : Paradigm Shifts in Macrotrends - Rambus_Chartology
5.Stock Market in the Eye of the Storm, Visualising AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI Tech Stocks Earnings BloodBath Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
7.PPT HALTS STOCK MARKET CRASH ahead of Fed May Interest Rate Hike Meeting - Nadeem_Walayat
8.50 Small Cap Growth Stocks Analysis to CAPITALISE on the Stock Market Inflation -Nadeem_Walayat
10.Apple and Microsoft Nuts Are About to CRACK and Send Stock Market Sharply Lower - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Qualcom Stock Market Harbinger - 12th Aug 22
Apple Exec Gets World's 1st iPhone 14 for Daughters 14th Birthday Surprise Present Unboxing! - 12th Aug 22
Steps to remember while playing live roulette online - 12th Aug 22
China Bank Run Protests - Another Potential Tiananmen Square Massacre? - 11th Aug 22
Silver Coin Premiums – Another Collapse? - 11th Aug 22
Gold-to-Silver Ratio Heading Lower – Setup Like 1989-03 - 11th Aug 22
Severe Stocks Bear Market: Will You Be Among the Prepared 1.5%? - 11th Aug 22
There's a Hole in My Bucket Dear Liza, UK Summer Heatwave Plants Watering Problem Song - 11th Aug 22
Why PEAK INFLATION is a RED HERRING! Prepare for a Decade Long Cost of Living Crisis - 9th Aug 22
FREETRADE Want to LEND My Shares to Short Sellers! - 8th Aug 22
Stock Market Unclosed Gap - 8th Aug 22
The End Game for Silver Shenanigans... - 8th Aug 22er
WARNING Corsair MP600 NVME2 M2 SSD Are Prone to Failure Can Prevent Systems From Booting - 8th Aug 22
Elliott Waves: Your "Rhyme & Reason" to Mainstream Stock Market Opinions - 6th Aug 22
COST OF LIVING CRISIS NIGHTMARE - Expect High INFLATION for whole of this DECADE! - 6th Aug 22
Recession Is Good for Gold, but a Crisis Would Be Even Better - 5th Aug 22
Stock Market Rallying On Slowly Thinning Air - 5th Aug 22
Stock Market Trend Pattren 2022 Forecast Current State - 4th Aug 22
Should We Be Prepared For An Aggressive U.S. Fed In The Future? - 4th Aug 22
Will the S&P 500 Stock Market Index Go the Way of Meme Stocks? - 4th Aug 22
Stock Market Another Upswing Attempt - 4th Aug 22
What is our Real Economic and Financial Prognosis? - 4th Aug 22
The REAL Stocks Bear Market of 2022 - 3rd Aug 22
The ‘Wishful Thinking’ Fed Is Anything But ‘Neutral’ - 3rd Aug 22
Don’t Be Misled by Gold’s Recent Upswing - 3rd Aug 22
Aluminum, Copper, Zinc: The 3 Horsemen of the Upcoming "Econocalypse" - 31st July 22
Gold Stocks’ Rally Autumn 2022 - 31st July 22
US Fed Is Battling Excess Global Capital – Which Is Creating Inflation - 31st July 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

The ‘Wishful Thinking’ Fed Is Anything But ‘Neutral’

Interest-Rates / US Interest Rates Aug 03, 2022 - 08:27 AM GMT

By: MoneyMetals


With last week’s second 75 basis-point rate hike, the Federal Reserve now claims it has achieved a “neutral” monetary policy stance. That would mean, in theory, that interest rates are neither stimulating nor restraining the economy.

"Now that we're at neutral, as the process goes on, at some point, it will be appropriate to slow down,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said.

Powell was effectively telling markets he intends to pivot away from inflation fighting.

Yet inflation, even when measured by the Fed's own preferred gauge, continues to run hot.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures price index came in at 6.8% in Friday’s report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

A Fed funds rate that currently stands at just 2.5% doesn’t look “neutral” at all when the official inflation rate is running at 6.8%.

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers accused Federal Reserve officials of engaging in “wishful thinking” when it comes inflation.

“Jay Powell said things that, to be blunt, were analytically indefensible,” Summers told Bloomberg. “There is no conceivable way that a 2.5% interest rate, in an economy inflating like this, is anywhere near neutral.”

Left unsaid by Summers and Powell is that the slowing economy and highly leveraged financial markets cannot take much more rate hiking without collapsing. That’s why the Fed is signaling it will wind down its tightening campaign – before achieving any kind of victory over inflation.

In the face of four-decade highs in inflation, monetary policy has gone from ultra-accommodative to slightly less accommodative.

It likely will never get to a truly neutral level – at least not for any prolonged period.

The financial system and the U.S. government itself (the world’s biggest debtor) need interest rates to continue to be suppressed. Negative real rates enable borrowers to be bailed out over time by rising inflation and rising nominal asset values.

Over time, negative real rates also put upward pressure on precious metals markets.

Gold and silver prices lost ground when the Fed started talking tough on inflation. But they rebounded last week when central bankers dialed down expectations for future monetary tightening.

The Fed is anything but neutral when it comes to crafting monetary policy. Central bankers inevitably pick winners and losers when they manipulate interest rates and pump liquidity into the financial system.

The winners of Fed policies are typically Wall Street investment bankers and Washington, D.C. politicians. And so are the holders of tangible assets financed with debt.

The losers are: 1) savers and pensioners on a fixed income who don’t receive earnings that keep pace with inflation; and 2) workers whose wages never get them ahead of rising costs of living.

It is possible, however, for individual investors to position themselves on the winning side of Fed policy decisions.

During some economic cycles, it pays to be in stocks. During others, it’s far more profitable to be in assets that benefit from the unintended consequences of the Fed’s inflationary policies.

As the U.S. economy heads into recession, conventional stocks are vulnerable. Meanwhile, demand for safe-haven alternative assets combined with ongoing inflation pressures could provide a big boost to undervalued gold and silver markets.

Stefan Gleason is President of Money Metals Exchange, the national precious metals company named 2015 "Dealer of the Year" in the United States by an independent global ratings group. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason is a seasoned business leader, investor, political strategist, and grassroots activist. Gleason has frequently appeared on national television networks such as CNN, FoxNews, and CNBC, and his writings have appeared in hundreds of publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Detroit News, Washington Times, and National Review.

© 2022 Stefan Gleason - All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in