Some Fed Directors Eyed Smaller September Hike, Others Said More

Posted on October 18, 2022Comments Off on Some Fed Directors Eyed Smaller September Hike, Others Said More
© Reuters

(Bloomberg) — Some regional Federal Reserve bank directors last month favored raising a key interest rate by a smaller or larger amount than the 75 basis points that policymakers ultimately decided was needed to curb persistent inflation.

The boards of two regional Fed banks, New York and San Francisco, voted Sept. 8 to seek a 50 basis-point increase in the discount rate — which covers emergency loans from the Fed to financial institutions. Minneapolis Fed directors voted on Sept. 8 to seek a 100 basis-point increase, according to minutes of discount-rate meetings released Tuesday by the Fed in Washington.

The other nine regional bank boards voted on Sept. 8 or Sept. 15 to seek a 75 basis-point hike.

Such votes — which don’t actually set the rate — are often a proxy for the views of the banks’ presidents, who sit on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee. The discount rate is approved by the seven-member Board of Governors and typically moves in tandem with the benchmark federal funds rate target set by the FOMC.

Minutes of the FOMC’s Sept. 20-21 meeting, released last week, showed unanimity among all 19 officials for a 75 basis-point hike, bringing the federal funds target to a range of 3% to 3.25%. Investors are watching to see when the Fed will downshift, though it currently appears on track for a fourth straight 75 basis-point increase next month and potentially a fifth in December.

The separate FOMC minutes showed “several” participants indicating they are looking toward slowing the pace of tightening in light of rising global uncertainty and financial risks.

“Several participants noted that, particularly in the current highly uncertain global economic and financial environment, it would be important to calibrate the pace of further policy tightening with the aim of mitigating the risk of significant adverse effects on the economic outlook,” the minutes said.


©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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