Yet one person who is far less sanguine abou the latest in a long series of central bank bailouts of the stock market is Macro-Allocation’s Paul Brodsky, who believes that instead of the Fed Put, the time of the Fed Call has come.
The Fed Put Call
Investors are blaming Fed rate hikes, and hence a strong dollar, for weakening global output, commodity prices, and global equity prices so far in 2016.
The Fed knows exactly what it’s doing.
Equity returns are certainly dismal thus far in 2016. Through January 14 at 14:00PM EST, the MSCI World Index had declined by 8.6%. Accordingly, “the markets” had begun to doubt the Fed’s resolve to hike rates four times in 2016. Fed funds futures implied the December Fed Funds rate at 0.70%, up only 34 basis points from the current rate (0.36%). This implies the market is betting the Fed will hike once or twice more.
Clearly, investors see the equity markets as the leading indicator of Fed policy. We disagree. The Fed no longer works implicitly for equity investors (i.e., “the Fed Put”); it is primarily working for the U.S. banking system by stabilizing and increasing its deposit base, and for the state by providing an incentive across the world to invest in Treasury debt.
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