March 1, 2024 11:27 am

Markets see the Fed’s dovish turn as a sign of either a recession or political maneuvering. The only way we get 7 rate cuts is if we’re facing economic disaster.

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The Federal Reserve’s recent dovish turn, suggesting a possible recession or political strategy, has added a layer of complexity to the challenges faced by the Biden administration. President Biden, grappling with declining poll numbers and economic uncertainties, relies on the Fed’s decisions to shape the narrative leading up to November’s elections.

Amid positive economic indicators, such as low unemployment and robust growth, the unexpected move towards falling rates strategically aims to bolster the administration’s appeal to voters. The potential of seven rate cuts underscores the severity of the looming economic downturn.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, emphasizing the Fed’s apolitical stance, attempts to quell suspicions of intentional support for Biden’s reelection. However, the central bank now faces heightened criticism, risking its credibility in making sound monetary policy decisions. This delicate balance between economic management and political perceptions becomes increasingly challenging as the nation approaches a critical election year.

The stakes rise further as experts warn against repeating historical mistakes. If inflation were to surge again, it could result in the largest policy mistake of this century. Drawing parallels to the 1970s, when former Fed Chair Burns allowed inflation to spiral, leading to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the Fed confronts the daunting task of avoiding a similar misstep.

In this intricate dance between recession risks, political pressures, and the looming inflation dilemma, the Federal Reserve’s decisions will be closely scrutinized, impacting not only economic stability but also shaping the political landscape leading up to the crucial November elections.

Fed Rate-Cut Pivot Is Welcome News for Biden, But Carries Pitfalls for Powell

(Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s pivot toward interest-rate cuts is spreading holiday cheer in the White House, where the improved prospects for an economic soft landing are a boon for President Joe Biden’s bid for another term.

Biden has seen his poll numbers sag amid voter anxiety over a surge in the cost of living, and he would face a bigger headwind to winning another term in November if the US tumbled into a recession. As top aides continue to tout the strength of the economy — including low unemployment, easing price pressures and sturdy growth — falling rates would bolster his case to voters.

But there are pitfalls for the US central bank. Powell’s surprising pivot risks fanning suspicions that he’s deliberately trying to give Biden a boost in his expected re-match with Donald Trump. The Fed chief said on Dec. 13 that the Fed doesn’t take politics into account in making policy.

The upcoming election “exposes them to heightened criticism,” said Brookings Institution senior fellow Sarah Binder. “It makes it harder for them to maintain their credibility and to make good monetary policy.”



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Original Source: Markets see the Fed’s dovish turn as a sign of either a recession or political maneuvering. The only way we get 7 rate cuts is if we’re facing economic disaster.

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