Inflation Hawk: Dovish and Hawkish Monetary Policy Explained

what is hawkish in trading

Controlling inflation is important to hawks because price inconsistency impacts businesses and consumers, stalling the economy. When inflation is too high, prices may rise rapidly, leading to more uncertainty when buying goods and services or raising wages. Similarly, if inflation is too low, it may prevent businesses from investing and consumers from buying goods as they wait for prices to continue to drop. Higher interest rates make it more expensive for consumers and businesses to borrow money. As consumers and businesses spend less money, the economy will grow more slowly or could even contract. This results in prices of goods and services stabilizing, which halts inflation.

The central bank interest rate determines the rate at which other banks like Chase can borrow from the Federal Reserve. Now that you understand the two terms, it’s time to learn where to get this information. It would be nice if you could go to a website that told you the current bias of every central bank in the world. But if you want to keep things really simple, a hawkish stance can be a clue that interest rates may increase and thus, the value of the currency might increase too. A hawkish stance is when a central bank wants to guard against excessive inflation. In this post, I’ll give you the trader’s definition of both hawkish and dovish, and show you two easy mnemonics that you can use to remember them in the future.

what is hawkish in trading

This is often at the expense of economic growth, as higher interest rates discourage borrowing and encourage savings. It is the Fed’s responsibility to balance economic growth and inflation, and it does this by manipulating interest rates. Hawks and hawkish policy are more aggressive in nature, whether in terms of monetary policy or military stance during a potential conflict. Many prominent governors have been referred to as “centrists”—someone who is neither a hawk nor a dove on monetary policy, or will switch stances over time. An example of this is Jerome Powell, who was considered a centrist before being selected as chairperson of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2018.

Introduction to Hawkish and Dovish Monetary Policy

At DailyFX we have a Central Bank Weekly Webinar where we analyze central bank decisions and keep you up to date with central bank activity. November 28, 2018 Federal Reserve Chairman says that interest rates are “just below neutral” indicating a shift in tone from hawkish to dovish. The table below provides a more in depth comparison on dovish vs hawkish monetary policies, highlighting the differences between the two and how they impact currencies. You’ll find many a banker “on the fence”, exhibiting both hawkish and dovish tendencies. However, true colors tend to shine when extreme market conditions occur. Yet there’s always a possibility that central bankers will change their outlook in greater or lesser magnitude than expected.

DailyFX Limited is not responsible for any trading decisions taken by persons not intended to view this material. A slight shift in tone from a central banker could have drastic consequences for a currency. Traders often monitor Federal Open Market Committee meetings and minutes to look for slight changes in language that could suggest further rate hikes or cuts and attempt to take advantage of this. We really just meant hawks versus doves, central bank hawks versus central bank doves that is.

The image above shows the different central banks current monetary policy stance. When a central banks’ monetary policy stance moves more towards the left (dovish) their currency could depreciate against other currencies. If the monetary policy stance moves more towards the right (hawkish) their currency could appreciate.

In a low-rate environment, saving only makes sense if you’ve already cleared all of your higher-interest personal debt. This is even more important with credit card debt, which has higher interest rates than car loans. If you think rates will go down in the future, it is possible to invest in longer-term bonds that were issued in a higher rate environment. Fixed-rate bonds pay out the exact amount each year regardless of what the Fed does. All information on this site is for informational purposes only and is not trading, investment, tax or health advice. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions.

Many factors affect the price of precious metals, but a slowing economy and dovish Fed have contributed to increased gold prices. Mining companies are capital intensive, and when the stock market is not doing well in general, demand for Gold as an alternative investment increases. And when Gold prices rise, mining companies often see an even more remarkable rise in valuations than the gold spot itself.

Note: The Difference between the Federal Funds Rate and the Discount Rate

When the home currency strengthens, the prices of imported foreign goods become relatively cheaper, hurting domestic producers. At the same time, domestic exports become relatively more expensive for overseas consumers, further hurting domestic manufacturing. Central bank policy makers determine whether to increase or decrease interest rates, which have significant impact on the forex market. In some cases, banks end up lending money more freely when interest rates are higher. High rates dissipate risk, making banks potentially more likely to approve borrowers with less-than-perfect credit histories.

  1. Any examples given are provided for illustrative purposes only and no representation is being made that any person will, or is likely to, achieve profits or losses similar to those examples.
  2. When inflation is too high, prices may rise rapidly, leading to more uncertainty when buying goods and services or raising wages.
  3. A budget hawk, for example, believes the federal budget is of the utmost importance—just like a generic hawk (or inflation hawk) is focused on interest rates.
  4. It would be nice if you could go to a website that told you the current bias of every central bank in the world.
  5. It’s that individual’s role to be the voice of that central bank, conveying to the market which direction monetary policy is headed.

We have been in a low-interest environment ever since December 2008, when the Fed sent rates down toward 0% to combat the 2008 recession. At this point, you may be wondering where central bank interest rates fit into the overall picture of a nation’s economy. Here are the websites of the biggest central banks, to get you started. When it is easier (cheaper) to borrow money, businesses can expand more easily and consumers will usually spend more money by using credit cards or other types of debt, to finance purchases.

What Is the Difference Between Hawks and Doves?

This is because hawkish policies that can lower inflation can also lead to economic contraction and higher unemployment, and can sometimes backfire and lead to deflation. Expansionary policy tends to be used only when the Fed is concerned that we are heading into an economic slump or financial crisis. So it isn’t a given that lower interest rates will generally boost the stock market. But in the longer term, buying equities when everyone is worried (including the Fed) makes sense because you are likely to get them at better prices. And if you’re willing to hold them long enough for the Fed’s expansionary policy to take full effect, your investment is more likely to pay off. Now, one thing you should not conclude from this little story is that inflation hawks are bad, and inflation doves are good.

Companies with lots of cash on their balance sheet earn more interest when interest rates go up. Investing in those companies, especially if they have other good things going for them, can be a good play. The flip side of this is that those companies that have to service high debt levels will be less profitable than in the low rate environment. So when rates are about to climb, pay more attention to the debt burdens of the equities in your mix.

This is longer than any presidential term, so governors typically will remain at the Fed for multiple presidencies. An example of a hawkish economist is the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s President and CEO, Esther George. Experts generally recommend keeping 3-6 months’ living expenses in some form of market independent savings. Before starting this site, I worked at a hedge fund and at a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in the world.

Janet Yellen, Fed chief from 2014 to 2018, was generally seen as a dove who was committed to maintaining low lending rates. Jerome Powell, named to the post in 2018, was rated as neutral (neither hawkish nor dovish) by the Bloomberg Intelligence Fed Spectrometer. Loretta Mester, the Cleveland Fed president, also fits into this category. Mester studied under Charles Plosser, the former president of the Fed Bank of Philadelphia and a committed hawk. She worries about inflation caused by the low interest rates championed by doves. Second, many institutions and news agencies do extensive research and hire experts to offer their opinions on the “Monetary Policy Outlook”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *