Market Commentary 9/30/22

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was the third of a series of movies dubbed “Spaghetti Westerns” starring Clint Eastwood. Created by an Italian producer and director, this final installment is credited with launching Eastwood’s career. The plot revolves around the search for confederate gold in the latter stages of the American Civil war as Eastwood (the Good) is confronted by two adversaries (the Bad and the Ugly). In the final sequence Eastwood faces a three-way duel. After a tense standoff, Eastwood prevails (of course), recovers the gold, and leaves the one surviving adversary to fend for himself.

I would not be surprised if our good investors feel as if they are also facing a three-way duel with bad central bank policy and ugly fiscal economic initiatives. The Fed badly misjudged inflationary pressures last year and moved aggressively this year to raise interest rates and drain liquidity. But as the quarter began, investors began to think that the Fed had moved too aggressively and would soon be forced to reverse its rate hike schedule. Talk of this Fed “pivot” pushed the market sharply higher in July through mid-August. The rebound faltered when the Fed reaffirmed its rate hike schedule after ugly inflation data, and then raised rates by 75 basis points at its meeting in September. As the Fed pushed short rates higher longer-term rates declined, leading to an inverted yield curve, a highly reliable recession indicator.


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