Critics of the Fed talk about its disastrous battle against inflation and its obsession with a 2% target: “I mean, that's a great solution, guys, congratulations. You have done a miracle (2023)

Federal Reserve officials have grappled with their part in criticism from leading economists and business leaders for describing inflation as "transition', or temporarily, in 2021.

Leading critics of Fed policy, such as former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, are arguing that Jerome Powell's loose monetary policy as Fed Chair, aimed at bailing out the economy from the COVID-induced 2020 crisis, is over.increased inflationand increase riskStagflationInstead of.

But in recent months a new chorus of criticism of the Fed has emerged. One who argues that the central bank is now too focused on fighting inflation as it tries to make up for past mistakes.

Fed officials raised interest rates this year at the fastest rate since the 1980s in hopes of bringing inflation down to their 2% target. (In fact, financial historian Adam Tooze believes it to be the largest coordinated hike in interest rates in world history.) But so far, they've had little success. In September, CPI inflation stood at 8.2%, near a 40-year high.

Many leading economists and business leaders believe the index is wrong because it misses signs that inflation is rising.perish🇧🇷 They argue that the Fed is looking at old data, which represents inflation in the economy from months ago, and not what is happening today.

Just wiping out the stock market losses$9 trillion in American wealthSo far this year, with global economic growth slowing, prominent economists like Claudia Sahm and William Spriggs and business leaders like billionaire Barry Sternlicht are concerned that the Fed could push the economy into recession with its rate hikes.

“Your actions have already done enough to slow the economy. You can see it everywhere. Everyone sees it. Except for the Fed, apparently,” said Sternlicht, CEO of private equity firm Starwood Capital Group.Fortuna."Your numbers are lagging behind... This isn't the inflation that's on the ground today. And destroying the economy because we're looking at outdated data is repugnant.”

Sternlicht and other leading Fed watchers even argue that the Fed's 2% inflation target is arbitrary.

“There is nothing set in stone to say that inflation should be capped at 2%. That target was not the result of an economic model that says 2% inflation is ideal inflation,” Spriggs saidFortuna,He adds that he believes that given the current state of rapid technological and climatic change, he should not be attacked.

"There are a number of reasons why it is unwise to keep these old notions," he said.

(Video) The Powell Fed: Looking back and looking ahead

The Fed's 2% inflation target

The Federal Reserve has what is known as a dual mandate, which states that its primary role is to ensure maximum employment and maintain price stability.

To fulfill the second part of this mandate, the Fed “targets” an inflation rate of 2%. the central bankadopted the explicit target of 2% inflationin January 2012, but the St. Louis, James Bullard, said there has been an "implicit" inflation target of 2% since 1995.average inflation target, leaving more wiggle room around the 2% value.

But critics say the target still doesn't make sense.

"I think the 2 percent number is kind of arbitrary," Sternlicht said.Fortuna."And can it be 3% or 4%? That would be good."

Sternlicht, who has a net worth of $4.7 billion, believes inflation isn't the bogeyman many economists make it out to be.

"There is good inflation and bad inflation," he said. “Inflation driven by wage growth is really what we want in this country. We want to let the less successful participate in economic growth. Growth and inflation led by wage increases are actually leading to a bigger economy, a bigger pie for everyone because there is more consumption.”

Spriggs argued that the economy "could perform at higher levels" if the Fed refocused on maintaining peak employment. He compared the situation to a basketball game where a coach has to decide whether to play fast (higher inflation) or slow (lower inflation).

“If the basketball team was playing at full steam, these other players would come onto the court. We would not lose production. We took over the production instead of screaming for victory," he said.

According to Spriggs, lower inflation means a slower game with fewer people playing. Economically, that means less growth.

Sternlicht and Spriggs went on to argue that by trying to bring inflation down to 2% while Europe is in the midst of an energy crisis and the war in Ukraine rages on, Fed officials will end up causing a recession.

(Video) Fight the Fed? | 'Bloomberg Surveillance 9/01/2022

“There's no way the US economy can't avoid a recession next year. Zero,” Sternlicht said.

Sternlicht also warned that, over the long term, targeting inflation that low increases the risk that the Fed will "overreact" and cause deflation - which could have beendevastating effectabout savings.

“I think 2% as an artificial target seems like a good number. But it's so close to zero. And the problem is, if you go to 2%, you can easily go to minus 2%. You could be entering a deflationary world where there is no demand and lots of goods,” he said.

But there are many economists and business leaders, even progressive ones, who believe the Fed should keep its 2% target intact.

Brent Schutte,Mutuality in the NorthwestWealth Management's chief investment officer counts himself in this camp, arguing that inflation staying above the Fed's 2% target for an extended period could lead to more volatile economic cycles.

"If you let inflation fuel, you have to stamp it out harder," he said. "It leads to more erratic cycles, more ups and downs."

George Ball, president of Sanders Morris Harris, a Houston-based investment firm with $4.9 billion in assets under management. 🇧🇷

“I think society is best served with inflation rates around 2% as opposed to anything significantly higher. Inflation deprives everyone and especially the poor,” Ball said.Fortuna🇧🇷 "Two percent is a desirable and very healthy target if enough people believe that the Fed and the government will act tough enough to achieve it."

Ball went on to point to an analogy that former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker used when they worked together at Prudential decades ago.

"The simile he used was that fighting inflation is like killing a snake," Ball said. "First you have to kill the snake, then you have to cut off the snake's head and show it to everyone in the community." , so they know the snake is dead.”

(Video) First Half Is Over | Bloomberg Surveillance 06/30/23

Claudia Sahm, founder of Sahm Consulting and a former Federal Reserve economist, also said she believes the Fed should stick to its 2% target.

"The Fed is not going to give up its 2% target and I think that's reasonable," she said.Fortuna."They accepted that as a goal and said it was a 'job well done,' so I think it would be annoying for them to say, 'Oh, actually, let's redefine a job well done.'

However, Sahm was quick to add that the Fed has a choice in how quickly it returns to 2%.

"There's nothing in the Fed's strategic plan that says it should get to 2% in the next year or two," she said.

Is the Fed exaggerating?

Sahm believes Fed officials should halt, or at least slow down, their rate hikes and wait for the impact on the economy to take hold before deciding on the next step.

“What the Federal Reserve is doing now risks overshooting, that is, bringing inflation below 2%. They've been so fast and so big that they're making financial markets vulnerable," she said.

Sahm is among a group of critics who note that thereal estate marketIt gets cold,commodity pricesare 20% off their heights and consumersinflation expectationshave fallen to September 2021 levels, but Fed officials have said they intend to raise interest rates further.

Sternlicht argued that they do this because they rely on lagging indicators of inflation. The billionaire, whose Starwood Property Trust owns about 250,000 housing units nationwide, said officials should instead be analyzing "real-time data" and speaking to business leaders.

"All they have to do is call us and every other apartment owner and we tell them rents are going down," he said.

(Video) No Debt Deal | Bloomberg Surveillance 05/16/2023

Sternlicht also noted that the Fed lacks the right tools to deal with inflation. They can act to curb consumer demand, but increasing the supply of goods and services is beyond their reach. He argued that the federal government could step in and help the situation by increasing legal immigration to boost jobs.

Ball said the disagreement between economists, business leaders and the Fed over which policies are best for the US economy boils down to differing beliefs about "the greater good." One side believes we must sacrifice jobs to fight inflation, while the other argues that jobs must come first even if the whole economy has to deal with persistent inflation.

He used the analogy of a commander on a battlefield to describe the predicament the Fed finds itself in.

"It's a classic compromise between sending a battalion to slaughter so your army can win, or trying to somehow minimize troop losses while putting the entire army at greater risk," he said.

A recipe for “social unrest” and a global recession

According to a 2013 report, throughout its history the Federal Reserve has disregarded the impact of its policies on other countries, essentially ignoring them.Dokument des National Bureau of Economic Research.

This year the central bank has largely ignored the impact of its policies on other large and developing economies. Sahm says 2022 is an extremely bad time to do so.

“The Federal Reserve is only making a very bad situation worse. They make it much harder for developing countries to buy food and energy because all of those contracts are in dollars and many countries have to hold their debt in dollars as well,” Sahm said. “We must now recognize that the global economy and financial markets are struggling and rate hikes are contributing to this. And that's all the more reason to pause because if the global economy goes into recession, the United States will not be able to withstand the financial market crash."

More scathingly, Sternlicht criticized the Fed for "hitting a hammer right in the head" just when wages are finally rising for low-income Americans.

"I mean that's a great solution guys, congratulations. You performed a miracle,” Starlight said with sarcasm in his voice. “Isn't the Fed's job to control inflation and create full employment? Right now they're worried about inflation, they don't give a shit about employment."

Sternlicht said he was "appalled" by what lies ahead for the US economy and feared the fallout from a severe Fed-induced recession could be devastating not just for the economy but for the entire system of capitalism.

(Video) Testing New Lows? | Bloomberg Surveillance 05/09/23

"At the end of the day, the endgame here is social unrest," Sternlicht said. "A rich person who loses 30% is still rich, right? But the poor fellow who works part-time and loses his job will say, “Capitalism is bankrupt; it didn't work for me. i lost my job And this whole system has to go. You will have social unrest. And it's all because of Jay Powell and his merry band of lunatics."

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How did the Fed respond to the Great inflation? ›

But the Volcker Fed continued to press the fight against high inflation with a combination of higher interest rates and even slower reserve growth. The economy entered recession again in July 1981, and this proved to be more severe and protracted, lasting until November 1982.

How does the Fed impact inflation? ›

Even so, interest rate hikes are known as the central bank's one major tool to lower inflation, which it does by raising the cost of borrowing money to curb the demand for goods and services. Economists won't know until later if the Fed's moves were successful or not.

What was powell's speech about? ›

The speech aimed to cement Powell's own credibility and secure the trust of financial markets — and the American people — that the Fed would not let inflation spiral further out of control, despite getting its initial prognosis that price hikes wouldn't last wrong.

What did the Fed say about rates? ›

The Fed has lifted interest rates from near zero as recently as March to a range of 3.75 to 4 percent at its meeting this month. Its past four rate moves have come in three-quarter-point increments — huge adjustments, the likes of which the Fed had not made since 1994.

Why does the Fed want 2 inflation? ›

The Federal Reserve targets an inflation rate of 2 percent, in part to stave off deflation in the event of an economic downturn. Maintaining a healthy level of inflation could also give the central bank additional room to lower interest rates when it wants to stimulate the economy.

Why did the Fed fail to respond to the Great Depression? ›

Because the international gold standard linked interest rates and monetary policies among participating nations, the Fed's actions triggered recessions in nations around the globe. The Fed repeated this mistake when responding to the international financial crisis in the fall of 1931.

What is causing inflation 2022? ›

Supply chain stresses increased prices for commodities and transportation, which are cost inputs for finished goods. In countries where food constituted a large part of the inflation increase, rising prices forced low-income consumers to reduce spending on other goods, thereby slowing economic growth.

Is inflation good for the federal government? ›

An increase in the price level directly reduces the real value of government debt, as well as the ratio of debt to GDP, because—holding other things constant—higher prices increase nominal GDP.

Can the Fed beat inflation? ›

The Fed, then, can bring down inflation “only when public debt can be successfully stabilized by credible future fiscal plans,” they added. The paper suggests that without constraints in fiscal spending, rate hikes will make the cost of debt more expensive and drive inflation expectations higher.

Will the Fed raise interest rates in 2022? ›

By: Casey Quinlan - November 3, 2022 10:54 am. The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that in its continuing efforts to tamp down inflation, it would raise interest rates yet again by another three-quarters of a point to a target range of 3.75 to 4%.

How will inflation be stopped? ›

Contractionary monetary policy is now a more popular method of controlling inflation. The goal of a contractionary policy is to reduce the money supply within an economy by increasing interest rates. 5 This helps slow economic growth by making credit more expensive, which reduces consumer and business spending.

What was the result of the Fed meeting today? ›

The Fed increased its Target Fed Funds rate by 0.75%. The new Fed Funds Target range is now 3.75%-4.00%. Similar to the September 2022 meeting, this meeting's vote was unanimous!

What actually happens when the Fed raises interest rates? ›

When the Fed increases interest rates, it becomes more expensive to borrow money. It means higher rates for credit cards, auto loans, and any industry that relies on financing. That's painful for consumers, especially those relying more heavily on credit cards or loans.

What is the current federal interest rate 2022? ›

What is the current federal reserve interest rate? The current Federal Reserve interest rate, or federal funds rate, is 3.75% to 4.00% as of Nov. 2, 2022. This is the fourth consecutive rate hike of 0.75% and the sixth rate hike this year.

How many times did the Fed raise rates in 2022? ›

All despite 40-year highs in various measures of U.S. inflation.
2022 Fed Rate Hikes: Taming Inflation.
FOMC Meeting DateRate Change (bps)Federal Funds Rate
July 27, 2022+752.25% to 2.5%
June 16, 2022+751.5% to 1.75%
May 5, 2022+500.75% to 1.00%
March 17, 2022+250.25% to 0.50%
2 more rows
2 Nov 2022

Why is the inflation target 2 3? ›

This is because price stability – which means low and stable inflation – contributes to sustainable economic growth. Targeting inflation of 2 to 3 per cent avoids the many costs to the economy from inflation that is too high or too low.

When did 2% become the inflation target? ›

The Fed's 2% inflation rate target, informally adopted in 1996 and official since 2012, is increasingly viewed as an anachronism. For much of the past decade, inflation ran below target.

Who benefits from inflation? ›

1. Collectors. Historically, collectibles like fine art, wine, or baseball cards can benefit from inflationary periods as the dollar loses purchasing power. During high inflation, investors often turn to hard assets that are more likely to retain their value through market volatility.

Did the Fed make Great Depression worse? ›

In the '30s, the Fed more or less let the banking system collapse, allowed the money supply to collapse and allowed the price level to fall. You had tremendous deflation, and that contributed to the contraction of the whole economy.

Has the Fed been a failure? ›

The Fed has been cited for many failures in recent times, including the 1970s' Great Inflation, the Subprime Crisis and the Great Recession.

Did the Fed caused the Great Depression? ›

Most historians and economists agree that the stock market crash of 1929 wasn't the only cause of the Great Depression. Other factors including inactivity followed by overaction by the Fed also contributed to the Great Depression.

What is actually causing inflation? ›

Monetarists understand inflation to be caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. In other words, the supply of money has grown too large. According to this theory, money's value is subject to the law of supply and demand, just like any other good in the market. As the supply grows, the value goes down.

Will inflation go back down in 2022? ›

But in Morningstar's second quarter “U.S. Economic Outlook,” researchers predict that 2022 will have the highest rate of inflation, as measured by the PCE Price Index, at 5.2%, before dropping. Caldwell estimates that the inflation rate will average around 1.5% between 2023 and 2025.

What inflation will look like in 2022? ›

According to the survey of economists by FocusEconomics, CPI inflation is expected to average 8.0% in 2022. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in September 2022 the US unemployment rate was 3.5%, which is 1.2 percentage points lower than a year before.

How can the federal government stop inflation? ›

  1. The primary job of the Federal Reserve is to control inflation while avoiding a recession. ...
  2. The Fed can slow this growth by tightening the money supply. ...
  3. The Fed's first line of defense is OMO. ...
  4. The fed funds rate (FFR) is the most well-known of the Fed's tools. ...
  5. The Fed also changes the discount rate.
24 Oct 2022

Who wins if inflation increases? ›

1. Fixed-rate mortgage holders. Anyone with large, fixed-rate debts like mortgages benefit from higher inflation, says Mark Thoma, a retired professor of economics at the University of Oregon. Those interest rates are locked in for the life of the loan, meaning they won't ebb and flow with inflation.

Can money be destroyed to fight inflation? ›

Fiat money can sometimes be destroyed by converting it into commodity form, rather than completely forfeiting the value of the money. Sometimes, currency intended for use as fiat money becomes more valuable as a commodity, usually when inflation causes its face value to fall below its intrinsic value.

Is the Fed or government more effective in fighting inflation? ›

Monetary policy, conducted by the Federal Reserve, can raise interest rates. Or fiscal policy, controlled by the Congress and President, can adjust taxes and spending. Monetary policy is usually far better equipped to fight inflation – and manage overall macroeconomic stability – than fiscal policy.

Will interest rates go down later in 2022? ›

Will mortgage rates go down next week? Mortgage rates could decrease next week (Dec. 5-9, 2022) if the mortgage market takes a cautious approach to a possible recession. However, rates could rise if lenders account for the Federal Reserve continuing to take aggressive measures to counteract the high inflation of 2022.

Where will interest rates be at the end of 2022? ›

Fed Chair Jerome Powell signaled officials will likely take interest rates even higher than the 4.5-4.75 percent they initially projected in September, but might take smaller steps to get there. That could mean rate hikes worth a slower half a percentage point — and eventually a quarter point.

Will the Fed raise interest rates in 2023? ›

The Fed is expected to keep increasing interest rates through mid-2023. "And it will likely take a mild recession to drive inflation down for good," the report noted.

How to survive inflation 2022? ›

There are many ways to increase your income during inflation. You can invest smartly in your employer-sponsored retirement plan, in fixed rate bonds, find ways to increase your active income, earn from passive income sources or investments, or invest in entities and commodities that rise with inflation.

Who will lose out during inflation? ›

Lenders are hurt by unanticipated inflation because the money they get paid back has less purchasing power than the money they loaned out. Borrowers benefit from unanticipated inflation because the money they pay back is worth less than the money they borrowed.

How do you not lose money to inflation? ›

It is possible to protect savings from inflation by investing in Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), government I bonds, stocks, and precious metals.

Was the Fed successful? ›

While it has failed to prevent inflation, the Fed has largely succeeded, since the Great Depression, in eliminating deflation, which was a common occurrence under the pre‐ Fed, post—Civil War U.S. monetary system.

What is the date of the next Federal Reserve Meeting 2022? ›

The Federal Open Market Committee FOMC) meeting schedule 2022: January 25-26. March 15-16* May 3-4.

What is the conclusion of Fed meeting? ›

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) concluded its Nov. 1-2 meeting by raising the federal funds rate by 75 basis points (bps), to a range of 3.75% to 4%.

Do banks make more money when the Fed increases interest rates? ›

Impact on Savings Accounts and Bank Deposits

When the FOMC raises rates, banks react by increasing the amount you earn from deposit accounts. That means the APYs you earn on savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts rises higher as well.

Where does money go when Fed raises rates? ›

  • Invest in Banks and Brokerage Firms. Banks and brokerage firms earn money from interest. ...
  • Invest in Cash-Rich Companies. ...
  • Lock in Low Rates. ...
  • Buy With Financing. ...
  • Invest in Technology, Health Care. ...
  • Embrace Short-Term or Floating Rate Bonds. ...
  • Invest in Payroll Processing Companies. ...
  • Sell Assets.

How much will interest rates rise in March 2022? ›

Fed Rate Hikes In 2022

In March 2022, the Fed raised its federal funds benchmark rate by 25 basis points, to the range of 0.25% to 0.50%. The rate hike marked the first time since 2018 that the Fed has increased rates.

How was 1970s inflation solved? ›

The way to do that, Nixon reasoned, was to pressure the Fed to lower interest rates.

What action did The Fed take in responding to the Great Recession? ›

As a third set of instruments, the Federal Reserve expanded its traditional tool of open market operations to support the functioning of credit markets, put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative through the purchase of longer-term securities ...

How did The Fed attempt to deal with the Great Recession? ›

The United States, like many other nations, enacted fiscal stimulus programs that used different combinations of government spending and tax cuts. These programs included the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

How has The Fed responded to the Great Recession? ›

The Fed responded to the crisis with a four-pronged strategy. First, it flooded the banking sector with liquidity. Second, it invoked emergency powers granted to it during the Great Depression to lend to financial institutions other than banks. Third, it quickly cut the funds rate to zero.

What stopped the great inflation? ›

The crisis would end, and most economists give credit for ending it to Paul Volcker, the chair of the Federal Reserve. Volcker got inflation under control through the economic equivalent of chemotherapy: He engineered two massive, but brief, recessions, to slash spending and force inflation down.

Can the government destroy money to reduce inflation? ›

“That's the real key to the goal of tamping down inflation,” he explained. “The Federal Reserve can't simply confiscate money willy-nilly.” The Fed can get money back in two ways, said Laurence Ales, an associate professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University. One is by selling you something, like Treasuries.

What are the 3 things the Fed could do to get us out of a recession? ›

To help accomplish this during recessions, the Fed employs various monetary policy tools in order to suppress unemployment rates and re-inflate prices. These tools include open market asset purchases, reserve regulation, discount lending, and forward guidance to manage market expectations.

What actions is the Fed taking to respond to current economic conditions 2022? ›

Since March 2022, the Fed has raised the short-term interest rate it controls, the target federal funds rate, by 3.75%. This was a significant adjustment after maintaining a near zero percent interest rate policy for two years.

Did the Fed caused the Great Recession? ›

Just as the 1929 stock market crash didn't cause the Great Depression, the housing collapse didn't cause the Great Recession. In both cases, monetary policy mistakes were the likely proximate and fundamental cause.

How did the Fed respond to increasing unemployment at the start of the Great Recession in 2008? ›

The unemployment rate more than doubled, from less than 5 percent to 10 percent. In response to weakening economic conditions, the FOMC lowered its target for the federal funds rate from 4.5 percent at the end of 2007 to 2 percent at the beginning of September 2008.

Which is the Fed most likely to do in the event of a recession? ›

Which is the Fed MOST LIKELY to do in the event of a recession? They could give more people money by reducing taxes so they encourage spending. Basically expansionary fiscal policy.

Who is to blame for the Great Recession of 2008? ›

The Biggest Culprit: The Lenders

Most of the blame is on the mortgage originators or the lenders. That's because they were responsible for creating these problems. After all, the lenders were the ones who advanced loans to people with poor credit and a high risk of default. 7 Here's why that happened.

What would happen if we got rid of the Fed? ›

Global markets would also need some sort of economic direction from the U.S. The Fed manages the dollar — and as the world's leading currency, a void left by a Fed-less America could throw those markets into chaos with uncertainty about who's managing U.S. interest rates and the American economy.

What was the outcome of the Fed meeting? ›

The Fed increased its Target Fed Funds rate by 3/4%, despite the warning of some experts that the rate hike would be a full 1.0%. The new Fed Funds Target range is now 2.25% – 2.50%. Unlike the June 2022 meeting vote, this meeting's vote was unanimous!

What actions did the Fed take in response to the recession of 2001? ›

The Fed's monetary policy response pushed the federal funds rate down to zero and expanded the Fed balance sheet by $1.7 trillion in large-scale asset purchases. The Fed's credit easing policy response created innovative facilities to provide liquidity and credit to those markets that needed it most.


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5. Webinar: The Impact of the COVID-19 in the Brazilian and World Economy
(Columbia Global Centers | Rio de Janeiro)
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