Wall Street to Jerome Powell: We don’t Believe You
Powell and his fellow Fed committee members yesterday hiked short-term interest rates another 0.25 percentage points to 4.75%, which means retirees and other savers are getting the best savings rates in a generation.
Powell and his fellow Fed committee members yesterday hiked short-term interest rates another 0.25 percentage points to 4.75%, which means retirees and other savers are getting the best savings rates in a generation. You can even lock in that 4.75% interest rate for as long as five years through some bank CDs. Maybe even better, you can lock in interest rates of implied inflation plus 1.6% a year for three years, and inflation plus nearly 1.5% a year for 25 years, through inflation-protected Treasury bonds.
The second piece of good news was that, according to Wall Street, Powell has just announced that “happy days” are here again.
The S&P 500 jumped 1% due to the Fed announcement and Powell’s press conference. The more volatile Russell 2000 small cap index and tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite – both jumped 2%. Even Bitcoin rose 2%. Traders started penciling in an end to Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and even cuts. The money markets now give a 60% chance that by the fall Fed rates will be lower than they are now. It feels like it’s 2019 all over again.
Now the slightly less good news. None of this Wall Street euphoria seemed to reflect what Powell actually said during his press conference.
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