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Another Reason a Quick End to the Fed’s Rate Hikes Looks Unlikely

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Borrowing Surge Makes Quick End to Rate Hikes Unlikely | Barron’s

Those of us of a certain age recall a time when the money supply numbers from the Federal Reserve sent shock waves through the financial markets, much as the jobs or inflation reports do now. That was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the Fed supposedly used the data to guide its monetary policy to break the back of inflation. But the connection between the money measures and the real economy later broke down, and the attention paid to them dwindled.

That is, until recently. Growth in the M2 measure, which consists of currency, checking, and other transaction and retail savings accounts, has collapsed to about 2% below the level a year ago. That’s a stunning reversal from the explosion in the money supply from pandemic monetary and fiscal stimulus; year-over-year, M2 expansion peaked at 27% in early 2021.

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