For much of the past year (and certainly at the time, more than a year ago, when the so-called experts, central bankers and macrotourists were still yapping about “transitory inflation” and other things they were wrong about and do not understand), we were warning that at some point the Fed will realize that it is simply impossible to contain supply-driven inflation through stubborn rate hikes which instead would lead to a dire alternative – millions in mass layoffs and newly unemployed workers …
… and will revise its 2% inflation target higher, a move which will send every risk asset – from high-beta trash and meme stonks, to blue-chip icons, to bitcoin and cryptos limit up.
Well, it turns out that we were right, and not just about the coming mass layoffs, but also about the inflation target leaks. But first, lets back up a bit.
A little over one year after nobody expected the Fed would be hiking rates like a drunken sailor until some time in late 2023 or 2024, it has now become fashionable to not only predict that the Fed will keep hiking rates at every FOMC meeting and at the fastest pace since the near-hyperinflation of the 1980s, but that the central bank will somehow manage to avoid a hard landing (i.e., the hiking cycle won’t end in a recession or depression), even though every single Fed tightening cycle since 1913 has ended in disaster.
“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A [a]quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” Rev. 6:6
An example of this was the statement by former Fed vice chair (and PIMCO’s “twice-revolving door”) Rich Clarida, who told CNBC that “failure is not an option for Jay Powell,” adding that “I think they’re going to 4% hell or high water. Until inflation comes down a lot, the Fed is really a single mandate central bank.”