The end of Fed predictability

美联储可预测性的终结

2019/06/15 00:03
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这种不确定性是美联储有意的。

Jay Powell doesn't know what he's going to do with interest rates. He probably hasn't made up his mind about what he's going to do at the next meeting, which starts on June 18, and he certainly doesn't know what he's going to do on July 31 or September 18 or October 30.

鲍威尔不知道他将如何处理利率。他可能还没有决定在6月18日开始的下次会议上要做什么,他肯定也不知道7月31日、9月18日或10月30日他要做什么。

Why it matters: Markets are pricing in significant rate cuts in the second half of this year. The consensus seems to be that the cuts will start in September, probably with a 50bp decrease, but there's no great confidence in that forecast.

市场预期今年下半年将大幅降息。目前的共识似乎是,降息将从9月份开始,可能会减少50个基点,但人们对这一预测没有多大信心。

The uncertainty is deliberate on the part of the Fed. Depending on how you look at it, it's either a relatively new development or rather old-fashioned.

这种不确定性是美联储故意造成的。这取决于你如何看待它,它要么是一个相对较新的发展,要么是相当过时的。

  • Context: Powell and his colleagues could easily signal an expected future path for interest rates if they wanted to. In late 2011, then-chair Ben Bernanke introduced the "dot plot" as a way to communicate even more clearly just how long he expected to keep rates at zero. In general, the Fed has become more transparent and predictable over time, issuing longer statements and being more explicit about interest-rate policy.
  • 背景:如果鲍威尔和他的同事愿意的话,他们很容易就能预测出未来的利率走势。2011年末,时任美联储主席的本•伯南克(Ben Bernanke)推出了“点阵图”,以更清晰地传达他预计将维持零利率多久。总的来说,随着时间的推移,美联储变得更加透明和可预测,它会发布更长时间的声明,对利率政策也会更加明确。
  • What they're saying: Powell and his colleagues regularly stress "data dependence" in monetary policy and are increasingly vocal about their distaste for the dot plot. They're honest about the fact that they don't know where the economy is headed; they don't know what unemployment rate constitutes full employment; and they don't know where interest rates must be, over the long term, to ensure price stability.
  • 他们的观点:鲍威尔和他的同事经常强调货币政策中的“数据依赖”,并且越来越多地表达他们对点阵图的厌恶。他们诚实地面对这样一个事实:他们不知道经济的走向;他们不知道失业率如何构成充分就业;他们也不知道为了确保物价稳定,长期利率必须处于什么水平。

After the crisis, the role of the Fed was clear: to rescue the economy and prevent it from imploding. Today, policymakers need to decide whether they should cut rates as a form of recession insurance, and whether they should frame any rate cut as a one-off or as the first of a series.

危机过后,美联储的作用很明显:拯救经济,防止经济崩溃。如今,政策制定者需要决定,是否应该将降息作为衰退保险的一种形式,以及他们是否应该将任何降息作为一次性举措,还是作为一系列举措中的第一个。

They need to determine how much attention to pay to markets, which will throw a tantrum if the expected rate cuts don't materialize — and also how much attention to pay to politics, in a world where Fed policy has become politicized to an unprecedented degree.

他们需要确定对市场的关注程度,以及对政治的关注程度。在美联储的政策已被政治化到前所未有的程度的今天,如果预期的降息未能实现,市场将会大发脾气。

The bottom line: We're not going to go back to the world of the early 1990s, when the Fed wouldn't even say what level of Fed funds it was targeting. But in an uncertain world, expect Powell to continue to embrace constructive ambiguity.

我们不会回到上世纪90年代初的世界,当时美联储甚至不愿透露其目标联邦基金的规模。但在一个不确定的世界里,预计鲍威尔将继续接受建设性的模棱两可。

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