Dollar tumbled broadly as markets took New York Fed President John William’s speech as indication of aggressive rate cut in the upcoming FOMC meeting on July 31. Fed fund futures now indicate 46.2% chance of -50bps cut, comparing to 34.3% a day ago and 19.9% a week ago. Overall, markets are still pricing 100% chance of easing then.

Williams said in a speech “Living Life Near the ZLB” (Zero Lower Bound), that when interest rates are in the vicinity of the ZLB, policymakers shouldn’t “keep your powder dry”. That is, they should “move more quickly to add monetary stimulus” to “vaccinate against further ills”.

Also, he said “it’s better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold”. And, “when you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress.”

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Later, in an unusual step, a New York Fed spokesperson “clarified” Williams’ comments. She said, “this was an academic speech on 20 years of research. It was not about potential policy actions at the upcoming FOMC meeting.”


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