Fed hikes interest rates by 0.75 percentage point for second consecutive time

Objective: fight inflation

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday enacted its second consecutive 0.75 percentage point interest rate increase as it seeks to tamp down runaway inflation without creating a recession.

In taking the benchmark overnight borrowing rate up to a range of 2.25%-2.5%, the moves in June and July represent the most stringent consecutive action since the Fed began using the overnight funds rate as the principal tool of monetary policy in the early 1990s.

While the fed funds rate most directly impacts what banks charge each other for short-term loans, it feeds into a multitude of consumer products such as adjustable mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. The increase takes the funds rate to its highest level since December 2018.

https://www.cnbc.com/

Former central banker wants Fed to ‘inflict more losses’ on stock-market investors to tame inflation

Historically tight labor market

William Dudley, the former president of the powerful New York Fed, thinks that his former colleagues won’t get a handle on inflation that’s running at around a 40-year high unless they make investors suffer.

There are myriad uncertainties the Fed must navigate, he acknowledged, including the effect of easing supply-chain disruptions and a historically tight labor market. But the effects of the Fed’s tightening of monetary policy on financial conditions — and the the effect that tightening will have on economic activity — is one of the biggest unknowns, Dudley wrote.

Unlike many other economies, the U.S. doesn’t respond directly to changes in short-term interest rates, Dudley said, partly because most U.S. home buyers have long-term, fixed-rate mortgages. But many U.S. households, also in contrast to other countries, have a significant amount of their wealth in equities, which makes them sensitive to financial conditions.

https://www.marketwatch.com/

Global finance and economy

 

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