The Federal Reserve held its first Federal Open Market Committee meeting this week. As expected, the central bank held interest rates steady but the overall posture of the Fed came off as rather dovish. Quantitative easing will continue into the near future and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell left the door open for future rate cuts.
The Federal Reserve funds rate will stay locked in at 1.5 to 1.75% and the vote was unanimous. Powell said, “We’re comfortable with our current policy stance and we think it’s appropriate.”
A week ago, nearly $100 billion in short-term liquidity was added via the Federal Reserve Bank of New York offering cash in the repo market.
As a reminder, the repo market is the overnight market of repurchase agreements. This is where one sells an asset with an agreement to purchase it back at a slightly higher price the next day. In other words, very short term collateralized lending.
Sometimes it’s a lot easier to sit down at the table than it is to fold your hand and leave.
Nearly four months after it started, the Federal Reserve continues to run overnight repo operations and it’s unclear when the central bank will actually end these “emergency” measures.
The Fed stepped into the repo markets last September to “unplug” the financial system’s “plumbing” with an injection of cash. It was the first such move since the financial crisis a decade ago. The move stabilized the markets, but months later, it doesn’t appear the Fed has a viable exit strategy.
Fiscal 2019 ended Sept. 30 with the biggest budget deficit in seven years, with the shortfall coming in just a hair under $1 trillion.
And we’re already on track to top that. Just two months into fiscal 2020, the budget deficit is already 12% bigger than it was this time last year and is hurtling toward that $1 trillion mark.
The Federal Reserve wrapped up its final Federal Open Market Committee meeting of 2019 on Wednesday doing pretty much what was expected — nothing. But in the processing of doing nothing, the central bank said a lot and managed to out-dove expectations.
After cutting interest rates three times in 2019, the FOMC stood pat during its final meeting of the year, holding the interest rate steady at 1.5%.
Stocks have pushed to record highs in recent weeks. If you read the headlines, you’d think it was all about optimism for a trade deal. Or maybe just some general bullishness on the US economy. But Peter Schiff has said that’s not the real reason stocks have continued to climb. In fact, there are a lot of things that should be causing them to go down, but only one thing causing them to go up — the Federal Reserve.
Stock markets hit new highs again this week. If you believe the headlines, the bullishness on Wall Street is mostly a function of trade deal optimism. But there’s another factor driving stocks higher – easy money courtesy of Federal Reserve (not) quantitative easing. In this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap, host Mike Maharrey talks about the impact QE4 is having on the markets and some delicious irony courtesy of a paper published by the central bank that admits its own policy might just be a problem.
It’s been a pretty dreary week on Wall Street with another round of trade war pessimism. Otherwise, there hasn’t been a lot of economic news to roil markets and precious metals have remained pretty much rangebound. But host Mike Maharrey has a silver lining for you on this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, along with a little Fed analysis.
The Dow pushed above 28,000 on Friday. The Nasdaq also closed on a record high above 8,500, and the S&P 500 made a new record high of 3,120. This despite some more gloomy economic data that came out during the day. Industrial production dropped more than expected, falling by 0.8 in October. Inventory numbers were also revised down. All of this led the Atlanta Fed to revise its Q4 GDP estimate down to 0.3.
In his most recent podcast, Peter Schiff said that it’s QE and Federal Reserve policy that is driving the stock market, not a great economy. In fact, the Fed is creating all kinds of bubbles. And like all bubbles, they will eventually pop.
Fiscal 2020 started just like fiscal 2019 ended – with a massive federal budget deficit. And that has Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell worried. In an ironic bit of political theater, Powell lectured Congress about the spending he helps facilitate.
The budget shortfall last month was 34% higher than the October 2018 deficit, coming in at $134.5 billion, according to the latest Treasury Department report. That starts fiscal 2020 off on track to eclipse a $1 trillion deficit.