The Bespoke Report – 9/30/22 – Crush the Economy: Mission Accomplished

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Remember earlier this year when Fed official after official was happy to be in front of any microphone and proclaim that tighter monetary policy would have little impact on the health of the economy? Well, that policy has evolved over the last nine months. In May, Chair Powell said that policy moves could result in a ‘softish landing’ for the US economy. Softish eventually turned to ‘some pain’ on the horizon, and then this month the Fed Chair told reporters at a press conference that “No one knows if this process will lead to a recession” which in Fed-speak translates to “it’s on.”

Everywhere you looked this week, Fed officials were speaking, and their message was in sync. They are focused on one thing and one thing only—stamping out inflation, and no amount of economic weakness will knock them off course until they are 110% certain that their goal has been met. Each official reiterated the same point, but just in case it wasn’t obvious, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester made herself loud and clear on 9/29 when she said that a “recession won’t stop the Fed from raising rates.” Good luck economy!

In this week’s Bespoke Report, we summarize recent market returns, the crazy moves in the fixed income market, economic trends increasingly pointing to a recession, some extremely oversold technical conditions, and much more.

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The Bespoke Report – 9/23/22 – Hike It ‘Til You Break It

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There’s no sign of a let-up in Fed tightening plans this week, leaving investors to ask the question: how much further does the Fed have to hike before the economy breaks? Yet another FOMC press conference with novel arguments for hawkishness leads to the inescapable conclusion that the FOMC will keep tightening until something breaks. So far nothing has, though catastrophic price action in interest rates, a disastrous week for UK assets on the back of a new fiscal package, and a ripping US dollar are all the sorts of events that would lead to a breakdown in the financial system that might cause the Fed to hold off. We discuss all the implications for markets as well as sector-level analysis of the US and Europe, a look at seasonality, a review of falling inflation in the Great White North, comprehensive analysis of US economic data from this week, and much more in this week’s Bespoke Report.

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The Bespoke Report – 9/2/22 – Chair Powell, If You’re Out There, Read This

This week’s Bespoke Report newsletter is now available for members.

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. Right now, there are thousands of 18-year-olds starting their first year of college around the country, and many of them have been dropped off in an environment they’ve never experienced. As they try to figure it all out, they’re going to make a lot of mistakes along the way. Everybody does.

Heading into the last four months of 2022, the Fed and everybody else are like first-year college students. We’ve never experienced anything like the current backdrop before. While we want to think that Jay from New York down the hall, Esther from Kansas City, or Jim from St. Louis somehow have all the answers, they, like everybody else, have no clue either. It’s not just the Fed. Everybody has been wrong more often than they’ve been right since COVID.

After having just told you how everyone has been wrong on everything for the last two years, you may be thinking to yourself, what do they know that everyone else doesn’t? We don’t have a crystal ball either. Our approach now is the same as it always has been and that’s to listen to what the market is saying, and in this week’s Bespoke Report, we cover all of the week’s major market events and how they may impact the market.  To read this week’s full Bespoke Report newsletter and access everything else Bespoke’s research platform has to offer, start a two-week trial to one of our three membership levels.

The Bespoke Report – 8/26/22 – Don’t Fight The Fed, Hawk or Dove

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The Federal Reserve is trying to engineer tighter financial conditions, and investors that don’t heed the commitment to avoiding an early pivot laid down by Chair Powell today will be on the wrong side of the aggressive Fed. We talk about the hawkish tilt in Fed speakers, underperformance of both stocks and bonds this year, commodity markets and how they impact the dollar, euro parity, stock exposure to the buck, European power markets, technical readings from major equity markets around the world, recent sentiment analysis, a full recap of US economic data released this week as well as global indicators, analysis of the rapidly shifting political backdrop ahead of US midterms, and much more in this week’s Bespoke Report.

To read this week’s full Bespoke Report newsletter and access everything else Bespoke’s research platform has to offer, start a two-week trial to one of our three membership levels.