Last week was a banner stretch for the market, with the Dow rising nearly 5%, snapping a six-week losing streak, and the S&P 500 closing with its best week since November of 2018.
Considering Friday’s poor jobs report, which saw non-farm payroll numbers come in at a lackluster 75,000 new jobs after a projection of 180,000, the rally led economist Peter Schiff to ask, why?
“Pretty anemic job growth, especially if you’re claiming you’re the jobs president and we have the strongest economy in the history of the country,” Schiff said, noting the economy is creating the same type of part-time, low-paying jobs that occurred under former President Barack Obama.
“The bottom line is we got much weaker than expected jobs growth. We got weaker economic data. We have downward revisions to GDP growth from the New York Fed,” Schiff said. “Yet the U.S. stock market is soaring. Why?”
The Fed and its policy plans, Schiff said.
“The Federal Reserve has changed on a dime and has done what I’ve been saying they would do for years. In fact, I said they would do this from the very beginning,” he said. “And that is they have completely abandoned any pretense of normalizing interest rates or shrinking their balance sheet. The Fed is about to cut interest rates again.
“Why is the Fed going to have to cut interest rates? To prevent the bubble from deflating, to prevent the bubble economy from returning to recession.”
Schiff said the market is like a junkie ready for its next Fed fix.
“It’s only because the Fed is going to give the heroin addicts on Wall Street more of the heroin, this is why the market is going up,” he said. “That is why the bond market is going up. That is why rates are falling, because the bond market thinks the Fed is going to work its magic one more time. It’s going to slash interest rates. It’s going to force-feed cheap money into the economy. It’s going to do quantitative easing. And it’s going to be a party in the bond market. It’s going to be a party on Wall Street. Except inflation is going to crash that party. A dollar collapse is going to crash that party.”
He also reiterated his point from last week that the reason quantitative easing (QE) worked in the midst of the Great Recession is because everyone thought it was a temporary thing that will now become commonplace.
“Everything the Fed has been saying for the past 10 years about its exit strategy, about its ability to normalize interest rates — everything they said was a lie,” he said. “The fact that they’re about to cut interest rates proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the economy is weak, that any strength is artificial. It’s a result of the cheap money and they need more cheap money to maintain the illusion of economic growth.
“If you can’t remove the policy without the economy relapsing into recession, then the economy was a failure … . The easy thing to do was to get hooked on drugs. The hard part, or the impossible part, was kicking the habit. That’s what the Fed can’t do.”