Central banks are now playing a role they weren’t designed for, and have ended up directing markets hooked on its extraordinary stimulus, according to Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd.
“For the time being, we’re just addicted to this,” Guggenheim’s global chief investment officer said at the Milken Institute’s 2021 Global Conference Monday. “And there is no exit plan for the central banks.”
The Federal Reserve, like central banks around the world, began pumping stimulus into the US economy during the coronavirus pandemic. It took action such as $2.3 trillion in lending to support businesses, households, and financial markets, as well as state and local governments whose revenues suffered during the crisis.
But Minerd said central banks are acting in a way they have never done before.
“The role of the central bank was to provide marginal liquidity at the times of crisis, and then to withdraw it after the economy started to stabilize and come back,” Minerd said. “Central banks are now running the markets.”
Minerd has previously predicted US stocks could plunge 15% by the end of October, based on concerns related to COVID-19 and its impact on global economic growth.
Influential figures such as Michael Burry, Leon Cooperman, and Carl Icahn have warned against the consequences of the Fed overstimulating the economy. They argue that such massive money creation by central banks will result in high inflation.
The Fed is likely to formally announce a reduction of its extraordinary support after its November Federal Open Markets Committee meeting, provided markets aren’t in turmoil over the debt ceiling, with the actual reduction in bond purchases expected to take place in December.
Last month, it said tapering is imminent, and “if progress continues broadly as expected, the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted.”