Fed chooses 'lesser of three evils' with 25bps hike

Ongoing turmoil in markets

Elliot Gulliver-Needham
clock • 4 min read

The US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 25bps yesterday (22 March), as the central bank is trapped between stubbornly-high inflation and ongoing turmoil in financial markets.

Charles Hepworth, investment director of GAM Investments, said that the Fed had picked "the lesser of three evils" with the 25bp decision. Analysts had predicted a 50bp hike before the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on 10 March, but the consequential wider stress throughout the financial sector raised expectations that the Fed may take a more cautious approach. The market had placed as high as a 78% probability of a 50bp hike at the meeting, according to data from CME Group, until the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank saw those chances to drop to zero. Instead, markets turned to giv...

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