Wharton Professor Jeremey Siegel Says The Risk of Recession Is Greater Than Any “Waffling” on Inflation

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wharton professor jeremy siegel
wharton professor jeremy siegel

The ongoing debate over whether the Federal Reserve’s actions will result in a happy ending for the economy or bring the US into recession is soaring, with Jeremy Siegel stating on Monday that the risk of a downturn is now much higher than any “waffling” on inflation by the central bank. 

“The Fed’s tightening and their talk of super-tightening has just pushed markets way too extreme,” the top economist said in an interview with CNBC on Monday. “[It’s] so extreme I think the risk of recession is so much higher than waffling on inflation.”

The central bank has continued its aggressive rate hike campaign since inflation reached 9.1% this summer, with Fed Chair Powell promising to keep hiking rates until the “job is done.”  

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After delivering another 75-point hike this month, stocks saw their most significant one-day decline in two years, and markets are now pricing in a policy rate of 4.75% in May of next year.

That’s too high, Siegel believes, considering that inflation is already starting to cool. He pointed out that official statistics — like the closely-watched Consumer Price Index — tend to lag behind actual inflation in the economy. Housing prices, which make up 50% of core inflation, are on the decline, as are commodity prices. Expectations for inflation two years from now are steadily declining. 

“It was exactly as tight as it is today, and he never said anything … Honestly, Chairman Powell I think should offer the American people an apology for such poor monetary policy that he’s pursued and the Fed has pursued over the past few years,” Siegel said.