The Fed FOMC minutes came out last week, signaling tighter monetary policy. Peter Schiff talked about the minutes in his podcast, arguing that the Fed can’t do what it says it’s going to do. If it does, it will crash the markets and the economy. And it won’t lower inflation.
The Fed minutes were widely viewed as even more hawkish than the messaging coming out of the December meeting. Peter said the minutes even surprised him a bit. But he reminded us that when he’s talking about a “hawkish” Fed, he’s not really talking about hawks.
They’re extinct. They may as well be the dodo bird at the Federal Reserve. Everybody is a dove. We’re just talking about degrees of dovishness. And so, the Fed was less dovish than the markets had expected.”
The minutes indicated we could now see four interest rate hikes this year. Three hikes were widely anticipated after the meeting. That would push rates up to about 1% by the end of the year. In the big scheme of things, and against the backdrop of the current economic data, that’s not a lot.
You cannot describe those itsy-bitsy moves in any way ‘hawkish.’”
But comments regarding quantitative tightening – shrinking the balance sheet – really roiled the markets.
In other words, they’re going to go from being a massive buyer in US Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to a seller of those securities. And that’s what really spooked the markets. Because that sent the bond markets tanking.”
Yields on the 10-year Treasury hit a 52-week high and briefly pushed above 1.8%.
If the Fed is going to shift from buying bonds to selling, clearly, that will put heavy pressure on the bond market. But Peter said there is one thing that the markets don’t seem to comprehend.
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