June 2, 2016, 3:25pm EST
In the middle of June we have perhaps the two biggest events of the year. On June 15 the Fed will decide on rates. And hours later, that Wednesday night, the Bank of Japan will follow with its decision on policy.
This is really the perfect scenario for the Fed. The biggest impediment in its hiking cycle/”rate normalization process” is instability in global financial markets. Market reactions can lead to damage to consumer sentiment, capital flight and tightening in credit—all the things that can spawn the threat of a global economic shock, which can derail global recovery. Clearly, they are very sensitive to that. On that note, the Brexit risk, while a hot topic in the news, is priced by experts as a low probability.
So, the Fed has been setting expectations that a second hike in its tightening cycle could be coming this month. But the market isn’t listening. The market is pricing in just a 23% chance of a hike in June. But as we’ve said, markets can get it wrong, sometimes very wrong. We think they have it wrong this time. We think there is a much better chance. Why? Because they know the BOJ is right behind them. If they do hike, any knee jerk hit to financial markets can be quelled by more easing from the BOJ.
Remember, as we’ve discussed quite a bit in our daily notes, central banks remain in control. The recovery was paid for by a highly concerted effort by the world’s top economic powers and central banks. And despite the perceived hostility over currency manipulation, the powers of the world understand that the U.S. is leading the way out of recovery, and that Europe and Japan are critical pieces in the global recovery. The ECB and BOJ have been passed the QE torch from the Fed to both fuel recovery and promote global economic stability. And playing a major role in that effort is a weaker euro and a weaker yen.
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