For a while now, there’s been a great deal of discussion regarding the Fed and its plans to increase interest rates for the upcoming year. This decision has generally been unpopular, being an extremely rare occasion when even Trump has been endorsing the popular opinion.
There was great speculation regarding the Fed and how it would proceed amidst criticism from the President and the Stock Market. Some are wondering whether it would cave in to political pressure. Ultimately, all this speculation came to an end this past Wednesday when the Fed remained committed to its plans. It was announced that the interest rates were, in fact, going to be raised by a quarter-point. Furthermore, the forecast for the next year included two more hikes as opposed to the initial three.
At the news conference held shortly after the meeting, Powell went on record and said that the central bank had no qualms of any sort with the current program to reduce the balance sheet and that things have officially been decided, so no changes or alterations will be made in the future.
The manner in which Powell conducted himself at the conference was met by a few comments from the ‘bond king’ and DoubleLine Capital founder and CEO Jeffrey Gundlach. As revealed on Twitter, he shared that the first mistake Powell made was that he approached qualitative tightening as if he was on autopilot. The second mistake Gundlach noted was that Powell spent an unnecessary amount of time on economic modeling.
Gundlach’s deputy chief investment officer at DoubleLine, Jeffrey Sherman, also relayed his thoughts on the situation. He repeated the “autopilot” comment and expressed that such a state of affairs is as unfavorable as it gets. He added that the market made note of this as well.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average doesn’t seem to be improving, especially after the interest rate news on Wednesday. On the said day, stocks experienced a drop of 351.98 points, completely undoing the 380-point gain that existed prior to the interest rate news. The unfortunate result was that the market closed at a record low for the year at 23,323.66. Investors responded by directing their attention to bonds. The result of this course of action wasn’t any better as the 30-year Treasury fell to 3 percent, while the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.757 percent.
At this point in time, the Fed has not been available for comment.