The Fed Is Scared of Stock Market Animal Spirits

The Breakdown


Today we are going into the macro realm because remember, before there was the wrecking ball of Luna and then three AC and then Sam and now maybe Barry? There was the macro environment and the fed just tanking all risk assets. In fact, this week we had something of an anniversary. Yesterday we got the fed meeting minutes from December and the meeting minutes are kind of a chance for the Federal Reserve to give extra nuggets of information to drive markets in the direction they want. It's not an accident that they're released weeks after the actual FOMC meeting. They're used as yet another tool of self fulfilling prophecy. So if the fed thinks the markets didn't get the message they were trying to send well enough or got it too well, they can recalibrate. This happened in dramatic fashion in January of last year in 2022. In December 2020 one, the fed confirmed that their FOMC meeting, what everyone anticipated, that rate hikes were coming in 2022. In fact, that confirmation drove markets higher as pretty much everyone in the market thought that the fed had waited too long to hike rates at that point. What markets didn't anticipate was that in addition to rate hikes, the Federal Reserve actually anticipated starting to reduce the size of the balance sheet in 2022 as well. In other words, a shift from quantitative easing to quantitative tightening. This was surprising because after the fed's last period of QE, it took years to actually start to move to balance sheet normalization and eventually reduction. So to do it in just months after rate hikes began would be a dramatic shift. Here's how macro analysts and trader Alex Krueger put it back then. This is excerpted from a thread that he published on January 9th, 2022, almost exactly a year ago. There has been a very fundamental shift at the Federal Reserve. The fed has flipped decidedly hawkish. Their main worry is not employment. It is inflation. And to fight inflation, the fed has to increase interest rates. It all started with Powell's inflation no longer transitory comment of November 30th. And culminated with the FOMC minutes released on Wednesday, where fed officials discussed faster balance sheet normalization.

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