After a decade of money-printing that has spiked asset prices like stocks and real estate, the U.S. economy appears to be on solid footing. Unemployment is at 4 percent (sub-5 percent is considered full-employment) and President Trump recently trumpeted 4.1% GDP growth during the second quarter:
I am thrilled to announce that in the second quarter of this year, the U.S. Economy grew at the amazing rate of 4.1%! pic.twitter.com/xeAPwAAOXN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2018
For some odd reason Fed Presidents want Fed Chairman Jerome Powell to take pains to prevent an inverted yield curve:
Some Fed regional bank presidents want the central bank to be cautious in raising interest rates to prevent short-term Treasury yields from rising above long-term ones …Those policy makers argue that such a yield-curve inversion has proven to be a reliable harbinger of past recessions …
Under the Greenspan put — which the then chairman denied ever existed — investors expected the Fed to cut interest rates if the stock market showed signs of cracking. A Powell put would operate in much the same way in the bond market. If the yield curve inverted the Fed would be expected to cut rates, thus pushing up prices of shorter-dated Treasury debt and lowering their yields.
For now Powell does not appear to be willing to change monetary policy mid-stream to avoid having the yield curve go negative. However, howls for taking preventive action could grow louder.