Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on December 14-15 show that the central bank is being persistent about unwinding quantitive easing (QE) tactics and that it views ultra-low interest rates as no longer necessary. Global markets immediately dropped after the news was published as stock markets roiled, crypto markets shed billions, and precious metals like gold slipped a hair in value as well.
US Central Bank Policy Meeting Suggests the QE and Low-Interest Rate Fiesta Is Coming to an End, Global Markets Lose Billions
Recently published notes from the Fed meeting last month indicate that the U.S. central bank thinks the economy is healthy enough to unwind major asset purchases and increase the benchmark interest rate. Mizuho Bank’s Vishnu Varathan wrote in a report that the minutes update from the Fed “bludgeoned the markets” after it was published. Barron’s financial author Randall W. Forsyth wrote that investors being “surprised, is somewhat surprising.”
Fed chair Jerome Powell gave no details on when the interest rate hike will begin and when it comes to QE, Powell said it was “best to take a careful, methodical approach.” Powell insisted that the cautious attitude toward tapering is because “markets can be sensitive.” Stock markets were sensitive on January 5, after the Fed minutes were published, and the crypto economy shed billions in value as well. Gold shed 1% and silver shed 3% in value during the last 24 hours after the Fed minutes were published.
Asian stocks fell during the overnight (EST) trading sessions as well following Wall Street’s plunge. On Thursday, Wall Street’s top indexes picked up some gains as the Nasdaq and NYSE were up some percentage points in the morning, but the Dow Jones index was still down 100 points. Digital currency markets across the board are down 8.3% as the crypto economy is valued at $2.17 trillion today.
The last Fed minutes meeting indicated that the level of inflation in the U.S. has increased a great deal but the strength of the economy was considered healthy. Fed participants wrote that they wanted to “begin to reduce the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet relatively soon after beginning to raise the federal funds rate.” The next U.S. central bank meeting is slated for January 25-26.
What do you think about the Federal Reserve’s latest minutes report and the market changes that ensued shortly after? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.