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2022 in a Nutshell

A Look at the Market Events and Policy Decisions that Shaped 2022 and What Traders Can Learn.

ChartAddicts, 2022

 

Introduction


In 2022, financial markets across many asset classes were hit hard as a result of a combination of central bank policy and supply chain problems. The Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world played a major role in popping the asset bubble that formed as a result of the pandemic response, which included a significant amount of money printing. Their commitment to fighting inflation put negative pressure on markets and the real economy, causing disruptions and uncertainty for investors and businesses alike.


The supply chain issues added to the challenges faced by the market, as global trade and production were disrupted by various factors such as pandemic-related restrictions, geo-political tensions, and natural disasters. These events have had far-reaching consequences for the financial market and the economy, and it remains to be seen how they will continue to unfold in the coming months and years.


The End of Free Money


The 14 year era of money printing, also known as quantitative easing, is over. This period of tremendous growth has largely been a result of the money that was pumped into the system, combined with record low interest rates or cheap credit. However, in 2022, the economy began to overheat, leading the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates. In June of this year, the Fed began taking $100 billion out of the economy through the quantitative tightening program in an effort to curb inflation and stabilize the market.


This marked a significant shift in monetary policy, as the central bank sought to normalize interest rates and reduce its balance sheet. The end of quantitative easing and the implementation of quantitative tightening have had far-reaching consequences for financial markets and the economy, and it remains to be seen how they will continue to impact the market in the coming months and years.


Quantitative Tightening


The Federal Reserve and other central banks implemented quantitative tightening, which involved the central bank selling assets from its balance sheet in order to reduce the amount of money in circulation and curb inflation. This policy was implemented in June of that year, when the Fed began taking $100 billion out of the economy each month through the sale of assets.


Quantitative tightening put downward pressure on market prices and caused demand for assets to decrease, as investors sought to avoid the negative impact of rising interest rates. This policy was implemented in an effort to stabilize the market and normalize interest rates, which had been kept at historically low levels for a number of years as a response to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.


While quantitative tightening was intended to have a stabilizing effect on the market, it also had some unintended consequences. The sudden reduction in the supply of money in circulation caused disruptions and uncertainty, leading to volatile market movements and a crash in prices for some assets. This had a ripple effect on the economy, as businesses and investors struggled to adapt to the changing market conditions.


Interest Rate Hikes

In 2022, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates several times in response to rising inflation. These rate hikes, which began in March and continued through December, brought the target range for the federal funds rate from (0.25-0.50%) to (4.25-4.50%). The Fed also announced that it would be reducing its holdings of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities in an effort to shrink its balance sheet. These actions had a significant impact on the cost of borrowing for consumers, with financing for credit card debt, car loans, and mortgages becoming more expensive. The Fed's projections show that they believe additional rate hikes will be necessary to hit their target inflation rate of 2%.


  • In March 2022, the Fed raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points, bringing the target range to 0.25% to 0.50%.

  • In May 2022, the Fed raised the target range for the federal funds rate to between 0.75% and 1% and announced plans to reduce its holdings of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.

  • In June 2022, the Fed raised the rate by 0.75%, bringing the target rate range to 1.5% to 1.75%.

  • In July, the Fed raised interest rates by 0.75% to a target range of 2.25% to 2.5% after Consumer Price Index numbers showed inflation at 9.1%.

  • In September, the Fed increased the target for the federal funds rate by another 0.75% to a range of 3% to 3.25%. Median projections showed that the Fed anticipated the target rate to be 4.4% by the end of 2022.

  • In November, the Fed increased the target for the federal funds rate by another 0.75% to a range of 3.75% to 4%..

  • In December, the Fed reduced the pace of tightening but still raised the target for the fed funds rate by 0.50% to a range of 4.25% to 4.50%. Inflation printed 7.1% annual, down from almost 9% in the summer.


Forex Traders in 2022


The events of 2022 had a significant impact on forex traders, affecting their investment portfolios, trading strategies, and overall performance. One of the main challenges faced by forex traders was the volatility and uncertainty of the market, as monetary policies such as quantitative tightening and rising interest rates caused disruptions and unexpected market movements.


To navigate these challenges, many traders had to adopt new strategies and tactics, such as diversifying their portfolios and using risk management techniques. Some traders also turned to more advanced trading tools and techniques, such as algorithms and high-frequency trading, in an effort to stay ahead of the market.


Despite these challenges, some forex traders were able to adapt and find opportunities in the market. By staying informed and adapting to changing conditions, they were able to capitalize on market movements and generate profits. However, overall, the market conditions in 2022 were challenging for many forex traders, and the impact of these events will continue to be felt in the coming months and years.


2022 Lessons for Traders


One key lesson is the importance of staying informed and adapting to changing market conditions. By staying up to date on economic and market developments, investors and businesses can make informed decisions and develop strategies that are well-suited to the current environment. In addition, the importance of diversification and risk management cannot be overstated, as these can help mitigate the impact of market movements on investment portfolios and businesses.


The Experts (2023 Projections)


Experts and analysts have offered a range of insights and perspectives on the implications of the events of 2022 for the future of the financial market.


Bank of America

According to the Bank of America (BofA) research team, some commentators view the recent downshift in central bank policy as dovish, but they believe the opposite. They argue that it would be dangerous to continue at the recent pace of rate hikes and that even 50 basis point moves are risky given the lags in monetary policy. The research team believes that, with rates already in restrictive territory, central banks can afford to move more carefully.


According to BofA, the recent news increases the likelihood of a global recession. They previously expected a mild recession in the U.S. and Euro Area and a medium-sized recession in the UK, but now the risk of a larger and more widespread downturn is increasing.


Employment Data Dependence

In our podcast conversation with Unlimited Funds Founder and CIO Bob Elliot, we discussed the importance of economic data in understanding the effects of Fed policy. We specifically focused on employment, as the labor market remains strong. To determine if the Fed is likely to pause or reverse their quantitative tightening (QT) policy, it is important to keep an eye on whether the labor market takes a hit.


J.P. Morgan

According to JP Morgan, the global economy is not at imminent risk of sliding into recession due to the decline in inflation, which helps promote growth. However, a U.S. recession is likely before the end of 2024. In the first half of 2023, the S&P 500 is expected to re-test the lows of 2022. However, a pivot in policy from the Federal Reserve could drive an asset recovery later in the year, pushing the S&P 500 to 4,200 by year-end.


Global Currency Dominance

In a recent conversation with Dollar Milkshake theory creator Brent Johnson, we discussed the continued dominance of the U.S. dollar relative to other currencies. According to Brent, if there is economic weakness abroad, dollar demand will outpace supply dramatically. This may force the Fed to introduce liquidity into the system, but the dollar will still remain attractive compared to other currencies.


Conclusion


Overall, the monetary policies implemented in 2022, such as quantitative tightening, had a significant impact on the demand for and prices of assets in the financial market. While they were intended to address economic and market conditions, they also had unforeseen consequences that will continue to be felt in the coming months and years. It is important for investors and businesses to stay informed about these developments and to consider their potential impact on their own strategies and operations. By understanding the forces at play and remaining flexible and adaptable, it is possible to navigate these challenges and emerge stronger on the other side.

 

Roy Dunia

December 15, 2022

Chartaddicts



Disclaimer: This article is the result of the analysis carried out by analysts associated with ChartAddicts. The article does not purport to represent the views or the official policy of ChartAddicts. This is not investment advice; please do your own research and consult a financial professional.









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