The Federal Reserve has talked a lot about fighting inflation. But what has it actually done?
In practice, not a lot. It has nudged interest rates up 75 basis points. And while the Fed has ended the massive quantitative easing program that it ran during the pandemic, it pushed balance sheet reduction back from May until June. In fact, the balance sheet has crept upward throughout the entire month of May.
Earlier this week, Federal Reserve governor and vice-chair nominee Lael Brainard indicated the central bank will shrink its balance sheet at a “considerably” more rapid pace than it did during the previous cycle. I, Peter Schiff and a few others outside the mainstream have said the Fed won’t be able to do this.
It appears quantitative easing has pretty much come to an end. At least for now.
Although the Fed was still expanding the balance sheet through mid-month, it only added a net $9B to the balance sheet during March. This was accomplished with moderate purchases of short- and long-term debt, while 5–10-year notes had a $20B runoff. MBS (light green) was surprisingly quiet with a net $2B runoff, but this disguises the typical volatility seen in MBS weekly purchases.
Is the US about to go the way of Japan?
The Japanese yen tanked after the Bank of Japan vowed to buy an unlimited number of Japanese government bonds in order to hold the 10-year yield under its 0.25% target.
Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve launched its first salvo against inflation, raising interest rates by a quarter-percent. It was a pretty weak shot given 7.9% CPI, but Jerome Powell and other Fed presidents ratcheted up the tough rhetoric last week. Powell raised the possibility of 50 basis-point rate hikes at future meetings and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly, “With the labor market so strong, inflation, inflation, inflation is top of everyone’s mind.”
We talk a lot about how the Fed keeps its big fat thumb on the Treasury market. But it also has its big fat thumb on the housing market. And if the Fed really does follow through with its taper and its plans to shrink its balance sheet, it will have a big effect on the housing market.
If you’ve ever held something under tension down with your thumb and suddenly release it, you know what happens.
President Joe Biden’s “build back better” spending bill seems to be dead — at least for the time being. But there is still plenty of spending coming down the pike. This raises an important question: how is the Federal Reserve going to simultaneously taper its bond-buying program and monetize all of this debt?
On Monday, President Joe Biden signed a massive military spending bill into law.
The Federal Reserve wrapped up its FOMC meeting on Wednesday and finally announced the much-anticipated QE taper. The Fed will cut its bond-buying program by about $15 billion a month. But so what? In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey digs into the Fed announcement and raises some very important questions.
The Federal Reserve held its September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting last week. While there was a lot of talk about the central bank tapering its quantitative easing program, the Fed didn’t announce any concrete plans to slow asset purchases. The lack of concrete action was no surprise to Peter Schiff. After the Fed meeting, Peter appeared on NTD News to talk about it and the Fed’s apparent reluctance to take any concrete steps toward monetary tightening. He said the central bank is in the process of replacing America’s economic foundation with a money printing press.