ECB Forges Ahead Despite ‘Current Market Tensions’

They pre-committed. So, they followed through. Consistent with the forward guidance that accompanied the February policy decision, the ECB went ahead with a half-point rate hike on Thursday. Prior the decision, market participants wondered if the Governing Council might balk in the face of recent banking sector turmoil, including and especially Credit Suisse's worst day ever. Instead, the GC forged ahead, citing inflation, which the new statement said is "projected to remain too high for too l

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17 thoughts on “ECB Forges Ahead Despite ‘Current Market Tensions’

  1. FWIW, I’m hoping both LaGarde and Powell hold the line on inflation. My trips to the market for provisions and sundries are starting to resemble yet another installment in the Scream franchise.

        1. Who knows. What I do know is that everybody’s a genius when they don’t have to make any difficult decisions and have the luxury of criticizing people from the sidelines.

          That’s my point. I was more hawkish than most readers here as of February 2022, and I’ve remained so since then.

          But I think it’s important to acknowledge that almost without exception, we all claim we’d do a better job if only we were in charge, when in fact, the odds favor us screwing things up even worse if it were up to us. “Don’t punt! Go for it! It’s just a yard! How hard can it be?!”

          1. wise comment. hindsight capital up 3000% in a few years. as much as i thought powell was the wrong choice for the job he has been through a very difficult 5 years + and done a decent if not spectacular job. while i may disagree with some of his and the fomc decisions they really have tried to thread a needle which is not easy

      1. CPI is down to 6.0% from 9.1% in June, core to 5.5% from 6.6%, which seems like progress. Labor market is still strong, but any gains in wages are being lost to inflation. Would be a mistake, imo, for the Fed to throw in the towel now. And with the ECB having just raised .50, I’m willing to bet the FOMC will hike .25 at its next meeting.

    1. I was never a fan of the Taylor Rule, but as this latest installement in monetary madness as unfolded, I’ve begun to reconsider my position. Obviously too late to use as a guideline in our current mess — FOMC would have to get fed funds rate to 8%, in a hurry — but as the Fed slowly wrestles things back to some semblance of normal, I can’t see the harm in the Fed adopting it as a guideline. Savers, retail investors, and small to mid-size banks should always have an option other than the stock market that allows them to stay ahead of inflation.

      1. Jim Bullard cited the Taylor “Rule” as justification for aggressively raising rates. What was curious about that was that Prof Taylor himself added a proviso that the rule may not apply in the face of a severe exogenous factor.

  2. The thing is, the average inflation rate from Jan 2013 to Jan 2023 (quickly done with a spreadsheet and annual numbers) is about 2.6, including the last three high years. Not so far off the target for those years when we undershot so many. As long as this hot period cools down soon, it’s not such a bad decade, decade and a half, overall. Inflation-wise, that is.

      1. Point well taken, but I only intended to say Hey, despite the hot run recently, we’re remarkably close to target inflation numbers for the longer run. The wage/wealth inequality sucks regardless. My own wages (in the non-profit sector) have been fairly stagnant since the late 90s.

    1. With the Taylor Rule as a guideline, fed funds rate would’ve averaged 4.6% annually for the period. One could argue that that would’ve been healthier for the overall economy than the near-ZIRP rates with which we ended up.

  3. (4.5) Trillion USD in Covid relief and all we got was this lousy 6% inflation rate! This isn’t “let them eat cake” and the benefits of the policy were of course not even, with outsized benefits to business owners. But the price increases seem pretty pedestrian for what we got out of the policy response.

    1. Roughly, that’s $11,000 per capita (clearly not evenly distributed). That us about the same as what gain you’d see if you take a middling income of ~$60k and inflate it around 6% for 3 years or so. Not that THAT happened to anyone, just comparing numbers for fun.

      1. What happens with a “middling income” of $36k for the bottom quarter of the country (that’s 82 mil people). Without those COVID payments we with food on our tables complain about, Woodie Guthrie would need to come back from the dead and write some new songs about the breadlines. My daughter and her husband just lost some nice tech jobs from mergers with firms seeking to reduce those ugly fixed costs. So they just fell from the top 10% to the bottom 10% in nothing flat.

        1. I hear you, our household income is not far from that bottom quarter most years, and the COVID payments were quite welcome here, and across our mostly poor, rural county. That part was money well spent.

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