Markets rallied Monday morning on news of the so-called bail-in for Cyprus, but then fell more than 1% in afternoon trading after comments made by William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dudley said the Fed may eventually wind down its monthly $85 billion bond-buying program.
“At some point, I expect that I will see sufficient evidence of economic momentum to cause me to favor gradually dialing back the pace of asset purchases,” Dudley told the Economic Club of New York.
What is surprising is the fact that markets panicked after Dudley's remarks. Dudley's statement is essentially the same as what Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke communicated last week after the central bank's two-day policy meeting — i.e. the Fed is committed to its monthly purchase of $45 billion in long-term treasuries and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities until the unemployment rate falls below 6.5%.
But as The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Lauren Lyster discuss in the accompanying video, markets have surprisingly trended negative every time some Fed official talks about putting an end to the central bank's easy money policies.
"We are such a long way from" that unemployment target, Task says. "I just don't understand the knee jerk reaction to every Fed utterance."
Related: There are No Bubbles, QE Is Working!
Dudley also emphasized how successful the Fed's policies have been for the economy.
"The impact of the improvement in financial conditions on the real economy has been somewhat stronger than I had anticipated,” he said.
As markets sit near all-time highs, perhaps investors are looking for and are waiting for any reason to hit the sell button, Task notes. "The market is going to do what the market is going to do," he says.
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