Stock Market Crash Alert: Mark Your Calendars for March 7
Stock market crash fears are swirling ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional appearance tomorrow. Investors will likely be keeping a keen ear on Powell’s comments for insight into the Fed’s path going fo…
Stock market crash fears are swirling ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional appearance tomorrow. Investors will likely be keeping a keen ear on Powell’s comments for insight into the Fed’s path going forward as it pertains to monetary policy.
What do you have to know about the latest potential macro catalyst?
Powell is speaking to the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees on Tuesday and Wednesday on a range of macro topics. Inflation will likely be a major area of concern for many members of Congress. If you recall, Powell’s last appearance before Congress was in June 2022, where he addressed the jaw-dropping 9% inflation report.
This time around, however, Powell’s appearance should be a bit lighter in nature. Indeed, prices have fallen precipitously since June, with consumer spending, hiring, and economic growth all holding strong. Jobs in particular have been a major point of pride for many politicians. Reasonably so, as per last month’s jobs report, unemployment is at just 3.4%, the lowest level in 53 years. With the February jobs report due out Friday, expect plenty of chatter on the subject.
Despite a relatively strong economic performance in the past six months, there remain plenty of concerns Powell will likely need to address Tuesday. Powell has approved a seemingly constant influx of rate hikes since June, with many fearful of a potential recession
Powell stated last month that the disinflation process has finally started taking root in the country, though he still emphasized that the Fed’s job was far from over.
This was a focal point of the Fed’s semiannual monetary policy report to Congress, released last Friday.
“The Federal Reserve is acutely aware that high inflation imposes significant hardship, especially on those least able to meet the higher costs of essentials. The Committee is strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2 percent objective.”
Stock Market Crash Fears Remain Elevated Ahead of Powell’s Congressional Appearance
The stock market and Jerome Powell have frequently clashed since the central bank started its hawkish initiative. The notions of rising interest rates is generally a scary measure. When you raise rates eight times in about a year, it’s not exactly a surprise to see investors run for the hills.
Many economists have predicted the U.S. will enter a recession in the second half of this year, largely off the back of elevated interest rates. The rate-sensitive tech and housing sectors have already experienced substantial turbulence the past year in the form of layoffs, falling demand, and rising mortgage rates. Some believe it’s only a matter of time before the greater economy starts to feel the impact of the Fed’s rate hikes.
Banking lobbyists are also expected to take interest in Powell’s upcoming trip to Capitol Hill. Indeed, according to reports, the Fed is considering a hike to banks’ capital requirement — the amount of money lenders must have available on hand at any given moment as a fraction of their loans.
In fact, on Friday, several Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee Republican on the Senate Banking Committee sent a letter to Powell essentially warning against additional banking regulation.
“It is incumbent on you to oversee any such review… to ensure that the Federal Reserve’s work is consistent with the law, the risks, and the commonsense principles that support tailored capital requirements and the continued availability of a broad swath of financial services for everyday Americans.”
Whether Powell’s comments spur greater fear in the stock market, or the banking world, remains to be seen.
On the date of publication, Shrey Dua did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
With degrees in economics and journalism, Shrey Dua leverages his ample experience in media and reporting to contribute well-informed articles covering everything from financial regulation and the electric vehicle industry to the housing market and monetary policy. Shrey’s articles have featured in the likes of Morning Brew, Real Clear Markets, the Downline Podcast, and more.
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