Economics/Class Relations

Why the Fed Is Shrinking the Balance Sheet

by Peter Zeihan on February 16, 2023
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell wants to shrink the balance sheet to zero over the next few years. And while this may be good for the economy and the US overall, not everyone will like the outcome…especially our vest-wearing friends down on Wall Street.

So how did we get here? Well, the Fed is in the business of preventing economic crises, and one function of that is having the “tools” to do so. The typical “tools” we see are using interest rates and other money operations to manipulate the financial system, but what happens when that’s not enough?

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the US economy has seen all the unorthodox tools in the toolbox. One of those is purchasing bonds on the secondary markets…to the tune of $9 trillion. That’s not an easy pill to swallow for everyone, but it goes down a bit easier when the alternative is a depression.

Now that the economy has seen a few years of growth and unemployment is at an all-time low, the Fed is ready to pack up its unorthodox “toolbox” to be better prepared for a future economic downturn. So what does this all mean?

Lots of money is coming off the table very soon. With the Fed pulling back and the Baby Boomers aging into retirement, we’re about to see almost a third of all available capital leave the system. Hopefully, your financial advisor is really, really good.

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