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Williams Comments Not Far Off What Powell Said On Cuts (But Context Matters)

While of course the context (a dovish speaker seemingly marched out to push back against market repricing) is the key here to the hawkish market reaction to NY Fed Pres Williams' comments on CNBC, what he said about the rate cut discussion/non-discussion is actually not too far removed from what Powell said Wednesday.
  • Williams said re cuts that it was "not the topic of discussion around what we are going to do" - rather the FOMC went around the table and said what their forecasts were, which of course included 2024 cuts, per the Dot Plot.
  • Powell seemingly had attempted to say something along the same lines, that they were still on the question of whether policy was restrictive enough yet - but he wasn't as explicit as Williams was today in pushing back on the speculation that they truly discussed rate cuts, or against market pricing. Here's the Q&A w Powell after he said that the question of when it will become appropriate to dial back restraint was "a discussion for us at our meeting today":
  • Q . Can you give some color as to the nature of that discussion today. Thank you. CHAIR POWELL. Sure. So it comes up in this way today. Everybody wrote down an SEP forecast. So many people mentioned what their rate forecast was, and there was no back and forth, no attempt to sort of reach agreement, like this is what I wrote down, this is what I think, that kind of thing. And a preliminary kind of discussion like that, not everybody did that, but many people did. And then, and I would say there's a general expectation that this will be a topic for us looking ahead. That's really what happened in today's meeting. I can't do the head count for you in real time, but that's generally what happened today.

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