MARKETPLACE EXPECTATIONS AND OUTCOMES © Leo Haviland September 5, 2022
“Are you gonna bark all day little doggie? Or are you gonna bite? Mr. Blonde asks Mr. White in “Reservoir Dogs” (Quentin Tarantino, director), after their gang’s jewelry heist went disastrously wrong.
OVERVIEW AND CONCLUSION
The Federal Reserve watchdog and its central banking companions, after a very lengthy delay, finally awoke to widespread evidence that substantial consumer price inflation was not a temporary or transitory phenomenon. The Fed guardian generally has evaded taking responsibility for its important role in creating substantial inflation (not just in consumer prices, but also in stocks and numerous other asset classes) via its mammoth money printing and yield repression schemes. But to restore and preserve its inflation-fighting credibility and sustain its marketplace reputation, in recent months the Fed noisily has raised policy rates (and significantly reduced yield repression) and started to shrink its engorged balance sheet.
The Fed’s need to manifest genuine loyalty to its legislative mandate of stable prices (which other central bankers have echoed) thus has provoked it to do some nipping, and even a little biting, of “investors” and other owners in the S+P 500 and other “search for yield” marketplaces such as corporate bonds and US dollar-denominated foreign sovereign debt. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s 8/26/22 Jackson Hole, Wyoming speech (“Monetary Policy and Price Stability”) further emphasized its rediscovered inflation-fighting enthusiasm. The Chairman confesses: “Inflation is running well above 2 percent, and high inflation has continued to spread through the economy.” The Chairman barks: “overarching focus right now is to bring inflation back down to our 2 percent goal”; “Restoring price stability will take some time and requires using our tools forcefully”; “estimates of longer-run neutral are not a place to stop or pause”; this restrictive policy stance likely must be maintained “for some time”; after all, “The longer the current bout of high inflation continues, the greater the chance that expectations of high inflation will become entrenched.” Note the dogged determination expressed by this trusty guardian!
“Summertime Blues, Marketplace Views” (8/6/22) states: “Despite growing concerns about a United States (and global) economic slowdown or slump, and despite potential for occasional “flights to quality” into supposed safe havens such as the United States Treasury 10 year note and the German Bund, the long run major trend for higher UST and other benchmark international government yields probably remains intact.” Regarding the S+P 500, that essay concludes: “Although the current rally in the S+P 500 may persist for a while longer, the downtrend which commenced in January 2022 probably will resume. The S+P 500’s June 2022 low probably will be challenged.”
The Fed’s late August 2022 wordplay has encouraged the previously existing trends of higher United States Treasury yields and declining prices for the S+P 500 and related search for yield (return) arenas such as emerging marketplace stocks, corporate bonds, and US dollar-denominated sovereign debt. Prices for commodities “in general” also have withered.
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Marketplace Expectations and Outcomes (9-5-22)