For all those people who are quick to criticize Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell for not moving fast enough, let’s not forget that we’re in unprecedented times, Jim Cramer told his Mad Money viewers Monday. Two years ago, no one knew how long Covid would last, or what lasting effects it would have on our economy, least of all today’s armchair critics.
Powell is doing what is necessary, Cramer insisted, and told the markets today that he’s willing to get more aggressive on interest rates if needed. But with everything Powell is facing, it’s not surprising he’s been cautious until now.
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The pandemic has led to a work-from-home revolution that no one could have seen coming. Home builders continue to struggle to meet changing demands and everything that goes into a home has been caught in short supply. Changes in where people live has led to changes in what they drive, another market stopped in its tracks by semiconductor shortages a half a world away.
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Add to that a war in Ukraine that’s interfering with food and energy supplies and it’s easy to see how Powell was asked to do the impossible. With so many variables and far too many unknowns, it’s impossible to get interest rates perfect. All we can ask for is what we got today, assurances that Powell will do whatever it takes to cool the economy without throwing us into a recession.
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