Jerome Powell signalled a slow-down in interest rate hikes – and markets loved it. But did he just make a long-term mistake by not decisively signalling the end of the era of monetary and market distortion? There are lessons to be learnt, not least being the role of inflation in a buoyant economy.
Halloween is a great time to be scared about markets. They are inconsistent, confused and uncertain, but the reality is even rising interest rates, inflation and trade wars sort themselves out - eventually. The real danger is how much worse bad politics and make a scary situation absolutely frightful.
US 10-year bonds and US equity are in fully rally mode. They show contradictory expectations for a stalled recovery and future strong growth! How can that be? Because the market is about what participants collectively think – and how markets think has been utterly changed by 12 years of monetary experimentation, repression, and distortion. We’ve got to change the way we think about markets.
Fed Head Jerome Powell set the market wagging y’day, triggering a mini-taper tantrum in bonds and stocks when he revealed no immediate rate hike but the possibility/likelihood of 2 rate rises in 2023. Bonds and Stocks fell. Bonds are unlikely to get much better in coming months – unless we see a market wobble that forces Central Banks to intervene, or something that creates a flash flight to quality. We are now in new market phase – the correlation between bonds and equities is looking vulnerable to a reversal when the free money that’s fed the rally since 2010 dries up! This is getting….. “interesting”.