In an interview with CNBC, Jeremy Siegel says that he believes the Fed will not need to continue tightening, and that 100 basis points will still remain. The only thing going up are wages in specific sectors, Siegel said, not forward-looking sensitive prices. He pointed to the housing sector, where prices are softening and the NAHB Housing Market Index has seen the biggest drop in the last 6 months in its history.
But that drop in the housing market will lag behind the government’s statistics, making it appear as though prices in that sector are rising, when they aren’t, Siegel explained. If the Fed examines that, they’ll see that they won’t have to keep tightening. In fact, Siegel expressed his belief that June was the market’s bottom, and the rest of the year will be “quite good.”
While Siegel says he doesn’t “forgive the Fed” for pouring so much money into stimulating the economy the last two years, he pointed out that there hasn’t been an increase in money this year at all, and that if the Fed continues to tighten it could result in a recession. If the central bank loosens up a bit and starts to put some money back into the economy, they could still engineer that “soft landing” that they are hoping to achieve, he told CNBC.
Siegel said that his research has indicated that interest rates have fallen greatly over the last 2 decades all around the world, and we’re already above neutral. Going to 5%, for example, would produce an inverted curve and push the economy into a recession, he predicted. However, the Fed needs to be aware that their 2.5% under a 2% inflation-forward situation is too high; we should really be at 1.5%. Though Siegel still maintains that June was the market bottom, he said that we could still see a recession if the Fed continues to aggressively raise rates up to 4% to 5%, and shared his hope that the central bank would recognize that danger before it makes that mistake.