June 24, 2022

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Key people from the Fed just spooked the markets — here’s what they said

2 min read

The Federal Reserve building is seen before the Federal Reserve board is expected to signal plans to raise interest rates in March as it focuses on fighting inflation in Washington, January 26, 2022.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

If there was any question about where the Federal Reserve stands on the key issue of the day — inflation — two important officials brought even more clarity on Tuesday.

Fed Governor Lael Brainard and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly both issued comments that showed they both envision higher rates and, in the former’s case, an aggressive drawdown of the assets the central bank is holding on its balance sheet.

Investors didn’t particularly like what they heard, sending major averages considerably lower on the day and the 10-year Treasury yield to a new 2022 high.

“It is of paramount importance to get inflation down,” Brainard said during a Minneapolis Fed webinar. The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets interest rates, “will continue tightening monetary policy methodically through a series of interest rate increases and by starting to reduce the balance sheet at a rapid pace as soon as our May meeting.”

The comments helped knock down a positive opening on Wall Street that ultimately turned into a nearly 1% loss for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The more aggressive Fed chatter also comes as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate topped 5%, a key threshold which could slow the housing market.

‘We’re not going to let this go forever’

Later in the day, Daly said inflation running at a 40-year high “is as harmful as not having a job.” Speaking to the the Native American Finance Officers Association, she assured the group that the Fed is on the case.

“Most Americans, most people, most businesses, hopefully people in tribal nations, you all have confidence that we’re not going to let this go forever,” Daly said. “But if you don’t have that confidence, let me give it to you.”

She assured those in attendance several times that interest rates are…

2022-04-05 16:19:00

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