The economic stakes that the U.S. Federal Reserve is navigating have gotten more treacherous, CNN Business reports.
Indeed, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has been sounding less sure of Fed policy of late. Yesterday, he went further than his recent remarks about economic pain, to admitting the country might be in for a recession.
“The Fed has now entered ‘the danger zone’ in terms of the rate shock they are throwing onto the U.S. economy,” Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Financial Group, tells CNN.
The fallout is undoubtedly going to be a recession; higher unemployment, potentially in the 6% range; a correction in the housing market, as Powell himself says; and roiling stock markets.
Investors are caught off balance because they do not know how the Fed is measuring its success.
While the Fed’s target interest rate is currently 3.4% for year-end, it is widely believed it could go as high as 4.4%.
“Our view is that a Fed funds rate of 4% is about the highest that the economy would be able to withstand, and the Fed is clearly threatening to raise rates above that level,” says Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.
Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, warns that a rise in rates to 4.4%, 4.5% could sink stocks by about 20%.
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