Is the Fed Curbing Inflation With Silence?

by: Dead Cat Bounce

The problem with inflation is that it sets expectations of further inflation. The Fed is supposed to fight inflation. If the Fed thought there was inflation, but no one on Wall Street was talking about it or admitting it, would the Fed say there was inflation publicly? Talking about it publicly would set expectations of inflation, that would trigger more inflation in the future. The Fed's inflation fighting goals would force it to keep mum about inflation. But why would no one on Wall Street want to talk about inflation? Talking about inflation sets expectations of inflation, and inflation leads to tighter monetary policy by the Fed. Higher interest rates are bad for stocks, and therefore bad for Wall Street.

Wall Street is happy to quiet about inflation. So how would I know if the Fed really thought inflation was bad since they are not incentivized to talk about it? The only thing we really have to go on is the interest rates they set. If the US markets as large as its stock market and housing market are in turmoil while the Fed does nothing, you might infer inflation is rampant.

A few commentators have been frustrated by the 'stupidity' of the Fed to not acknowledge the spike in headline inflation. Perhaps the Fed is being very smart after all. Not acknowledging headline inflation is one way the Fed is fighting it.