Has the Fed reached peak hawkishness?

Laurence J. Peter said,

“An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today.”

Right now we think this might be the motto that helps central bankers sleep at night. Terrifying as that may seem, investors do not have to just “wait-and-see” what impact central bank policies will have on their portfolios. Gold and silver are excellent ways to hold assets outside of the financial system and to add a level of insurance to your portfolio, that no other asset can provide. 

The Fed’s statement released this week was little changed from the November statement – and continues to say it sees additional increases into next year. However, the Fed’s updated projections show that slower growth and higher unemployment somehow equal still higher inflation and a higher fed funds rate.

Gold and silver both declined when the statement first came out but then rose to finish the day virtually flat – after rising sharply yesterday on softer U.S. Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) data.  

Gold Price Chart

Moreover, data released yesterday show that both Total and Core CPI data declined from the peak earlier this year. The year-over-year increase in Total CPI came in at 7.1% in November down from a peak of 9.1% in June, Core CPI increased 6.0% year-over-year in November, down from a peak of 6.6% in September. 

US Consumer Price Inflation Chart

Is inflation on a sustained downward path?

It is not only actual inflation that is showing signs of easing, but inflation expectations have also eased substantially, both market indicators and consumer survey indicators and even wage growth is rolling over. 

However, yet somehow Chair Powell says that’s not enough. Additionally, in his opening statement of the press conference, he stated that the Fed needs “substantially more evidence that inflation is on a sustained downward path”. 

He went on to say that the Fed has raised the Federal Funds Rate by 4.25% but that more tightening will likely be necessary to bring inflation down to the 2% target. Also, according to the Fed’s projections, they think that it will take more tightening than they thought at the September meeting – to the tune of .75% total increases next year vs the previously projected .25%.

It seems counterintuitive and counterproductive that the Fed now projects higher inflation and a higher Fed funds rate… than it did in September; but raised the fed funds rate by only .50% this month, vs the .75% back in September.    

Top 5 Gold Buyers’ Motives Revealed

Chair Powell’s explanation was that the focus has changed from the speed/pace of the increases to the ultimate level of the fed funds rate, and then how long the Fed will remain restrictive. Interpretation: the Fed has no idea how fast or how high to raise rates, they will reassess at the next meeting in February.   

The Fed started raising rates later than the data suggested – behind the curve of inflation going up, and now they are slow to recognize that inflation is declining, economic growth is slowing and the labour market is not as strong as it appears from the job openings numbers. 

The Fed has reached peak hawkishness

Our view is the Fed has reached “peak hawkishness” and that the Fed will start on the lagged downward revisions in their projections. 

And this is not to say that inflation will go back to pre-covid lows – as we have stated many times before higher inflation is likely for many years to come. See our post on January 28, 2021 Gold, The Tried-and-True Inflation Hedge for What’s Coming! And as our post-Fed will collapse the economy and be forced to pivot after last month’s meeting suggested a higher inflation target could be in the future.

Powell of course denied this as a course of action but did slip and say that the Fed could look at this as a longer-run project.

What does all this central banker lingo mean for physical metals investors?  Well, today’s inconsistencies of logic prove that: one – the Fed is ‘winging it’ and always has been… two – owning physical metal remains a great way to avoid becoming trapped in these crazy banker leverage games.

Moreover, gold and silver don’t rely on anyone or anything for their validation as wealth. While central bankers constantly must seek validation from politicians and levered speculators in alternating turns. Today once again proves it best to simply avoid riding their merry-go-round.

The gold price is one thing, but have you looked at the gold price ratios? And what about central bank purchases of gold bullion? Both of these are brilliant indicators around not only future price movements, but also ongoing sentiment for physical gold. Check out our gold-price ratio and central banks buy gold videos, here. 


From The Trading Desk

Market Update

The gold price this morning is hovering at the 200-day moving average which comes in at $1,788.

We saw a pop in Gold to the $1,820 level and silver touched $24 on Tuesday on the back of the lower than forecast CPI print of 7.1 versus the 7.3% expected.

Attention then switched to the FOMC meeting that took place Wednesday which saw a price in 50bp rise but a more hawkish fed than was expected.

Powell went on to say 

“Now that we’re coming to the end of this year, we’ve raised 425 basis points this year, and we’re into restrictive territory. It’s now not so important how fast we go. It’s far more important to think what is the ultimate level. And then, at a certain point, the question will become, how long do we remain restrictive? That will become the most important question,”. 

The next FOMC meeting takes place in February, Powell went on to say that the decision then will be based on data but stressed again that rates are not high enough yet. 

Gold and silver were over bought in the short term and the more hawkish comments from the Fed were the trigger for the pull back this morning. 

Stock Update 

Silver Brittania’s – We have an additional allocation of Silver Britania’s from the Royal Mint for December, with the lowest premium in the market at spot plus 32% for EU storage and delivery and spot plus 39% for UK storage and delivery. Please call our trading desk to avail of this offer. Stock is limited at this reduced premium.  

Gold Brittania’s are available again for UK and Irish Investors. Gold Britannia’s start at 5% over Spot and Gold 1oz Bars start at 4.2% over Spot. 

GoldCore have excellent stock and availability on all Gold Coins and bars. Please contact our trading desk with any questions you may have. 


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GOLD PRICES (USD, GBP & EUR – AM/ PM LBMA Fix)

14-12-2022 1808.20 1808.05 1458.31 1459.82 1695.73 1698.48
13-12-2022 1785.15 1823.55 1453.29 1469.23 1694.64 1713.04
12-12-2022 1790.60 1786.60 1458.80 1455.90 1696.41 1692.09
09-12-2022 1793.00 1796.15 1464.34 1463.32 1698.51 1704.55
08-12-2022 1782.45 1790.15 1464.82 1464.16 1698.32 1699.03
07-12-2022 1771.85 1782.20 1458.06 1460.33 1689.28 1694.16
06-12-2022 1773.35 1773.80 1456.28 1455.76 1687.87 1688.83
05-12-2022 1794.35 1776.80 1465.09 1456.27 1705.17 1689.91
02-12-2022 1800.75 1784.75 1467.97 1460.64 1710.71 1703.72
01-12-2022 1779.60 1803.15 1465.32 1467.22 1704.32 1712.63
30-11-2022 1759.65 1753.50 1465.08 1462.77 1697.53 1689.67

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Learn why Switzerland remains a safe-haven jurisdiction for owning precious metals. Access Our Most Popular Guide, the Essential Guide to Storing Gold in Switzerland here

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Stephen Flood

Stephen Flood is the CEO of GoldCore. He is a former Wall Street equity trader and FinTech expert. He has been involved in the precious metals markets since 2004 and has appeared as an expert contributor on CNBC, CNN, BBC, RTE & Bloomberg TV and has had articles published in the Irish Times, Irish Independent and The Sunday Business Post.

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