Markets Still Not Convinced About Faster Pace Of Rate Hikes From The Fed

  • Jerome Powell nominated to lead the Federal Reserve for the next five-year term
  • FOMC vacancies exposes more inclination to the hawkish side
  • FOMC doves, Kashkari and Evans expected to make way for hawks, John Williams and Loretta Mester
  • Markets complacent about rate hikes in 2018
  • Lack of inflationary pressures and subdued wage growth keeps the markets on the back foot
  • Trump nominates Jerome Powell

    Following a brief period of uncertainty, the markets breathed a sigh of relief as President Trump picked FOMC member, Jerome Powell to head the central bank for the next five years.

    The markets viewed this as a sign of continuity to the Fed’s currency policies. The decision also highlighted the fact that the Fed’s plans for a “gradual” rate hike increase remains on the table.

    Other candidates who were running for the post of the Fed Chair included Taylor and Warsh. Both candidates were seen to be more hawkish in comparison. Despite the current plans for a gradual pace of rate hikes, the markets are seen to be somewhat complacent about the pace of rate hikes coming next year.

    FOMC vacancies increases the risks of a hawkish composition

    This comes amid weaker pace of inflation growth and the rotation among the FOMC members next year. It is widely expected that the next set of FOMC voting members will be primarily dominated by hawks.

    There are also concerns about the mounting vacancies in the Fed. Although the current Fed chair Janet Yellen’s term ends early next year, there is a possibility for her to remain on the board of governors.

    This still leaves nearly four seats vacant next year. The seat of the NY Fed President who is part of the FOMC voting committee will also fall vacant as the incumbent William Dudley is expected to retire early next year.

    This puts the choice of nominating the seats to President Trump. With the prospects of the mid-term elections due next year, the selection to the vacant seats remains uncertain. However, it is clear that Trump would most probably bring about a balanced set of members.

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    Author: Travis Esquivel

    Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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