The markets rallied dramatically on Wednesday when the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, gave a speech at the Brookings Institute.
The markets rallied dramatically on Wednesday when the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, gave a speech at the Brookings Institute essentially confirming the likelihood of a Fed “slowing” its plans for interest rate hikes. Other speeches this year have seen markets fall a thousand points. The direction of market impact is less important to my point than the impact itself: we have markets that are highly susceptible to speeches given by one person. And when I refer to “markets” I do not merely mean the stock market but also the (much larger) bond market, the (similarly-sized) housing market, and the (gigantic) market for currencies.
Of course, the nature of market movement is not so much about a speech, per se, but rather policy expectations that are derived from a given speech. And the response in financial markets to the policy decisions of the Federal Reserve is hardly where it all stops; Fed decisions impact all aspects of the economy. No person lives a life free of impact from the decisions of the Federal Reserve.
Today I want to unpack this a bit more, at least as much as a commentary of this size will let me. I doubt all of this information and perspective will be new to consistent readers of the Dividend Cafe, but I do believe you will find it relevant to your investing life, and more importantly, relevant to how you think about the economic affairs in which we live.
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