Stock markets appear to have stabilized after a “December to remember.” But in his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said we’re really just in the eye of a financial hurricane.
The selloff began after the September Fed rate hike. At the time, Peter called it the hike that broke the camel’s back. The market plunged in October and Wall Street ended up having its worst December since 1931. But over the last few weeks, things have calmed as we entered the eye of the storm.
The Federal Reserve released minutes from the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday and it looks like the “Powell Put” might be in.
The minutes revealed a much more dovish sounding Fed as we move into 2019. Members of the FOMC indicated they could be “patient” with future rate hikes and said the future path of the central bank’s monetary policy is “less clear.”
What is clear is that Powell and company seem to be getting cold feet when it comes to continuing on an aggressive tightening policy. The question is why?
Last week, we saw more huge swings in US stock markets. On Thursday, stocks fell sharply, but they recaptured all the losses on Friday in the wake optimism about trade talks between the US and China, of a strong December jobs report, and “dovish” comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Peter Schiff hit on all of these topics in his most recent podcast.
As expected, the Federal Reserve nudged interest rates up another 25 basis points to 2.5% during its December meeting this week. It also scaled back its projected hikes in 2019 from three to two.
Peter Schiff said Jerome Powell and company just stuck a fork in the stock market.
Stock markets have been extremely volatile this week, with massive swings in both directions. The markets rallied on Wednesday, primarily due to optimism about progress in the trade war. On the week, the Dow is up around 100 points, but it also put in new lows.
In his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said he thinks the volatility will continue. It’s a sign of trouble in the economy – trouble ultimately created by Federal Reserve monetary policy.
As Peter Schiff put it in his most recent podcast, Jerome Powell blinked.
In a surprising about-face, the Federal Reserve Chair hinted that interest rates are “just below” neutral, leading to speculation that the central bank might be close to ending its tightening cycle. Peter said the Fed has basically been playing a game of chicken with the markets.
And the way the game of chicken goes is the markets keep moving lower and the Fed keeps talking about how great the economy is and how many rate hikes are coming in the future and somebody his to flinch. Somebody has to blink. It’s like you have these two automobiles driving toward each other and there’s going to be a major crash unless somebody turns the wheel. And it seems like it was Jerome Powell that turned the wheel first and in fact was chicken.”