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FED Policy Update: Bowman Suggests Rate Stability

At 5.25% to 5.5%, the Fed's policy rate isn't just a number.

She now believes that maintaining the current policy rate could further decrease inflation. It would not require additional rate hikes. Previously, Bowman had advocated for another rate hike to counter inflation. In 2022, inflation reached 40-year highs but dropped significantly to about 2.6% in November.

"Should inflation continue to fall closer to our 2 percent goal over time, it will eventually become appropriate to begin the process of lowering our policy rate to prevent policy from becoming overly restrictive," Bowman said.

However, Bowman also indicated a readiness to lower the policy rate in the future. This approach is aimed at preventing monetary policy from becoming too restrictive. In the meantime, the Fed's policy rate stays at 5.25% to 5.5%, a level held since last July. Potential policy rate reductions are on the table for 2024."

Despite this shift, Bowman stays vigilant. She's wary of factors like geopolitical tensions and labor market tightness. They could reignite inflation.

She has stated her willingness to increase the federal funds rate in the future. She will do this if there are signs that inflation has stopped or gone down.

This change in stance signals a significant shift in the Federal Reserve's approach to managing inflation and interest rates. It reflects a more adaptive and responsive monetary policy strategy.

Our Opinion:

Fed Governor Michelle Bowman's shift in stance represents a pivotal moment for the financial sector. This is especially true for both mainstream and alternative lenders. Bowman's viewpoint suggests a willingness to explore monetary strategies beyond the traditional approach of rate hikes. For alternative lenders, this could mean a landscape of greater predictability and stability. Such a landscape is crucial for planning and decision-making. However, this new approach also brings potential challenges. Especially in the face of rising inflation, traditional methods like rate hikes may not be the primary tool for control. This scenario underscores the need for thoughtful discussions and meticulous risk planning within the alternative financing industry. Navigating this changing monetary policy will require a keen understanding of its implications. It also will demand a proactive approach to risk management.

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