The Federal Reserve and the Future of the Finance Sector
The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the US economy, leading the Federal Reserve to take unprecedented measures to prevent a catastrophic economic downturn. One such measure was the purchase of large quantities of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities to inject money into the system. However, in June 2022, the Fed began reducing its $9 trillion bond portfolio to combat high inflation.
While this move may be good for the overall economy, it will have significant implications for the finance sector, according to Peter Zeihan, a contributor to Straight Arrow News. In his "Zeihan on Geopolitics" newsletter, Zeihan argued that the Fed's decision to shrink its balance sheet to zero over the next few years will hit Wall Street hard. So how did the Fed get here? Its primary function is to prevent economic crises by having the necessary "tools" to do so. These tools include manipulating the financial system through interest rates and other monetary operations. However, when these tools are not enough, the Fed must resort to unorthodox measures.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed has used various unorthodox tools, including purchasing bonds on secondary markets. The $9 trillion bond portfolio is a reflection of these unorthodox measures, which were necessary to prevent a depression. However, with the economy experiencing growth and unemployment at an all-time low, the Fed is ready to pack up its unorthodox toolbox to prepare for a future economic downturn.
The consequence of this decision is that a large amount of money will soon be taken off the table. As the Fed pulls back and the Baby Boomers age into retirement, almost a third of all available capital will leave the system. This will create challenges for the finance sector, and financial advisors will need to be highly skilled to navigate these changes.
In conclusion, the Fed's decision to reduce its balance sheet will have significant implications for the finance sector. While this move may be necessary to prevent economic crises, it will require financial advisors to be highly skilled to manage the impact on their clients' portfolios.