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Tightening - overdue?

| Posted by: Paul Donovan | Tags: Paul Donovan

  • The US Federal Reserve is expected to announce a multi-stage strategy of passive quantitative policy tightening. Demand for economic liquidity has fallen in the US, and there is simply no need to provide liquidity at the current level. The Fed has already been tightening policy by allowing the balance sheet-to-GDP ratio to decline.
  • Preannouncing future tightening makes sense at a time when the Fed's independence is in question. Quantitative policy is the nuclear policy of central banking, and not something politicians should interfere with. Committing to a tightening and having that priced in by financial markets will make it difficult for new Fed policy-makers to change the path once set.
  • The Bank of England governor citied global policy tightening as a reason for the UK to consider taking back the last interest rate cut. Although central bankers should not look at one data point in isolation, today's retail sales are significant given the importance of the consumer to the UK economy.
  • German producer price inflation is due – an indication of corporate pricing power, but probably subordinate to the focus on this weekend's election. US President Trump's extended tweet to the United Nations may focus market concerns about geopolitical risk onto Iran.