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U.S. Fed Continues Tough Talk But Gold And Silver Show Resilience

By Stefan GleasonMarket OverviewNov 04, 2022 02:58PM ET
www.investing.com/analysis/fed-continues-tough-talk-but-gold-and-silver-show-resilience-200631967
U.S. Fed Continues Tough Talk But Gold And Silver Show Resilience
By Stefan Gleason   |  Nov 04, 2022 02:58PM ET
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Precious metals investors remain cautious following the Federal Reserve’s latest jumbo rate hike. On Wednesday, the Fed announced another three-quarter point bump in interest rates. It’s the sixth straight hike by central bankers and brings the Fed funds rate up to 4%. That’s the highest it has been since 2008.

Investors fully anticipated the Fed’s latest move but hoped it would be accompanied by a dovish statement from Chairman Jerome Powell. Instead, Powell threw cold water on the idea of pausing or pivoting at the FOMC’s next meeting.

In his remarks, he sounded less like a dove and more like a grinch who was preparing to severely punish Americans for the Fed’s past mismanagement and impose more pain on financial markets as the holiday season approaches.

Of course, thanks to the Fed’s reckless actions over the past three years, Thanksgiving celebrations will be a lot more expensive this year than last due to dramatic food price increases.

Powell admitted that the Fed has so far failed to contain inflation and warned that more tightening than previously forecast is coming. But, as you would expect, he didn’t acknowledge the Fed’s central role in creating the problem in the first place. He said,

"My colleagues and I are strongly committed to bringing inflation back down to our 2% goal. If we don't get inflation under control because we don't tighten enough, now we're in a situation where inflation will become entrenched. We have both the tools that we need and the resolve it will take to restore price stability on behalf of American families. It is very premature to be thinking about pausing. So, people, when they hear lags, they think about a pausing. We still have some ways to go, and incoming data since our last meeting suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates will be higher than previously expected."

In the face of increasingly tough talk from Fed policymakers, gold and silver markets have been showing some resilience. Instead of breaking down sharply to new lows this fall, they have settled into trading ranges. Today we’re seeing big advances in the money metals, and they’re both in the green territory now.

Many metals investors are understandably skittish in this challenging environment. They want to hear the Fed finally give indications that it is ready to back off on rate hikes. And they want to see the U.S. Dollar Index finally take a decisive turn to the downside.

Those things will happen sooner or later. But there’s a good chance metals markets will begin rallying ahead of any Fed pivot or renewed dollar decline. ItSilver and other metals may havelready seen their lows for the year.

It’s also possible that next week’s election results could change market dynamics. Hopes are high among Republicans for a red wave that gives the GOP control of the House and Senate.

One of the races that could determine which party controls the Senate in Arizona. There, Republican Blake Masters is trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly. Polls suggest the race is now a toss-up.

Sound money advocates are paying attention to this race in particular because Masters has advocated bringing some soundness to the nation’s fiscal and monetary systems. Masters has even said he would remove income taxation from gold and silver, something that Congressman Alex Mooney’s bill would do.

Former Congressman Ron Paul has endorsed masters. He spearheaded the original Audit the Fed bill and was a leading advocate for gold during his own tenure on Capitol Hill.

Masters would assume the Senate seat previously held by John McCain for more than three decades if elected. Senator McCain was never known as a strong ally of the sound money movement. And frankly, few Senators in recent history have been.

The coming election will unlikely to deliver a meaningful shift in Washington’s orientation toward spending, borrowing, and currency printing. If Republicans take the Senate and reinstall Mitch McConnel as Majority Leader, investors will likely perceive it as a continuation of the same old, same old routine.

No matter how many times power switches back and forth between Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnel, nothing will fundamentally change in terms of the government’s dire fiscal trajectory. The only thing changing now is that the costs of servicing the government’s massive debt load are on track to explode.

The era of low-interest rates appears to have ended, and politicians in Washington, D.C., have yet to grapple with the consequences fully. The Federal Reserve is trying to deter individuals, businesses, and politicians from borrowing new money into existence by making it more expensive for them to do so.

But some politicians, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, are openly rebelling against the Fed’s bout of seeming hawkishness. Others in Congress and in the Biden administration are quietly devising ways to keep spending and borrowing levels elevated.

Very few politicians in either party are talking about making the sorts of budget cuts that families and businesses are now being forced to make, thanks to rising interest rates and persistently high inflation.

The end result may be that the government borrows even more money, not less, in order to be able to finance higher debt servicing costs. And as a consequence, the existing inflation problem could become even more entrenched.

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U.S. Fed Continues Tough Talk But Gold And Silver Show Resilience
 

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U.S. Fed Continues Tough Talk But Gold And Silver Show Resilience

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