“We begin the year as close to our assigned objectives as we have in a very long time. In these circumstances, I believe patience is a virtue and is one we can today afford,” said Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida in prepared remarks for the Money Marketeers of New York University.
With Wall Street crying foul the past few months on the latest market declines, especially after a difficult December, the Fed is changing their tune in unison. Furthermore, with fears of a global economic slowdown despite a robust labor market domestically, the Fed is keen on exercising patience.
“If these crosswinds are sustained, appropriate forward-looking monetary policy should respond to keep the economy as close as possible to our dual-mandate objectives of maximum employment and price stability,” Clarida said.
Clarida’s comments mirror that of Fed Chair Jerome Powell who recently preached patience and adaptability with respect to interest rate policy.
“As always, there is no preset path for policy,” Powell said. “And particularly with muted inflation readings that we’ve seen coming in, we will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves.”
Powell’s latest comments came after U.S. equities finished their worst year in over a decade. The Dow fell 5.6 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 6.2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite fell 4 percent.
Furthermore, December alone resulted in the Dow falling 8.7 percent and the S&P 500 losing 9 percent, making it the worst December since 1931. However, it appears the Fed is finally paying closer attention to the pulse of the markets.
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