Powell Changes The Rules On QE

The markets took a tumble to start this week as rising interest rates and inflationary pressures begin to weigh on outlooks. Those worries quickly diminished as Jerome Powell changed the rules to reassure Wall Street that “QE” is here to stay.

In his speech, he committed to reaching maximum employment and the “average” inflation rate. To wit:

“I’m confident that we can, and that we will, and we are committed, to using our tools to achieving that. The three-year time frame is actually arbitrary and chosen by us. And you know, we’re just being honest about the challenge.

We live in a time where there are significant disinflationary pressures around the world. Essentially all major advanced economies’ central banks have struggled to get to 2%. We believe we can do it, we believe we will do it. It may take more than three years, but we’ll update our assessment every quarter. We’ll see how that goes.”

Even Fed Governer Lael Brainard echoed Powell’s statement:

“The economy remains far from our goals in terms of both employment and inflation, and it will take some time to achieve substantial further progress.”

The markets immediately interpreted these statements correctly. The Federal Reserve will not be tightening monetary policy any time soon.