Earlier today (August 26), Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell give an important speech at the 2022 Economic Policy Symposium, which is being held (August 25-27) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and is hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
In a speech titled “Monetary Policy and Price Stability”, Powell said:
“The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) overarching focus right now is to bring inflation back down to our 2 percent goal. Price stability is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve and serves as the bedrock of our economy. Without price stability, the economy does not work for anyone…
“Restoring price stability will take some time and requires using our tools forcefully to bring demand and supply into better balance. Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth. Moreover, there will very likely be some softening of labor market conditions. While higher interest rates, slower growth, and softer labor market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses. These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.
“July’s increase in the target range was the second 75 basis point increase in as many meetings, and I said then that another unusually large increase could be appropriate at our next meeting. We are now about halfway through the intermeeting period. Our decision at the September meeting will depend on the totality of the incoming data and the evolving outlook. At some point, as the stance of monetary policy tightens further, it likely will become appropriate to slow the pace of increases.“
Powell’s hawkish tone shows that traders were correct in being worried about today’s speech. Currently (as of 3:43 p.m. UTC on August 26) U.S. stocks are struggling today, with all four major U.S. stock indices in the red:
The crypto market is doing even worse today, with Bitcoin ($BTC) trading around $20,764 (-3.51%) and Ethereum ($ETH) trading around $1,590 (-6.04%).
Here is what prominent macro-economist and crypto analyst Alex Krüger about Powell’s speech: