The Federal Reserve today reiterated it plans to continue what it has been doing and said it would continue to do, much to the chagrin of market participants.
While the last Fed minutes showed more dovishness, actual actions that are indeed ‘dovish’ have yet to occur. Reducing expected rate increases from 3 to 2 in 2019 was widely interpreted as, ‘the Fed might stop raising rates’, for some reason. History shows us that the Fed telegraphs well in advance what it intends to do. Thanks to Alan Greenspan, this has been the case for more than 20 years now.
What has the Fed said it will do in 2019? Raise rates two more times and continue to drain liquidity from the system via its bond roll-off program. It is also expected that other nations’ central banks will also cease adding liquidity this year. China may not have gotten the memo though, as they just lower their Reserve Requirement Ratio by 1%, freeing up approximately $100 billion in bank liquidity. This was announced on Friday, January 4, but was not even mentioned in the Saturday Wall Street Journal!
Here is a picture of global liquidity for 2019. From adding more than any given year in 2017, to net withdrawal in 2019. Adjust your expectations accordingly.