Fed will struggle to achieve a soft landing, warns Wells Fargo CEO – Markets Insider

Written by Amanda
  • The US central bank will struggle to achieve a soft landing for the economy, the CEO of Wells Fargo said.
  • “The economy does need to slow in order to tame inflation,” he added, and a short recession could cause some pain.
  • The Fed is staring down sky-high inflation that has dramatically impacted consumer spending power. 

The Federal Reserve faces steep challenges and will struggle to achieve a soft landing for the economy, according to Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf. 

The warning comes as stocks fell Wednesday amid fears of recession and prolonged high inflation.

“The scenario of a soft landing is … extremely difficult to achieve in the environment that we’re in today,” he said at a conference, according to Reuters

The bank has felt direct ramifications of high prices, he added, especially on consumers’ spending on fuel and food.  And while consumer spending remains strong, economic growth is slowing, the top exec maintained.

The comments from the Wells Fargo chief follow President Joe Biden’s meeting with Fed Chair Jerome Powell Tuesday, when they discussed the economy’s current challenges — including inflation at 40-year highs.

The cost of energy in particular has surged. Gasoline prices have hit fresh records, and more states are seeing $5 for a gallon of gas. Natural gas prices, meanwhile, have nearly tripled in the US over the last year. 

“The economy does need to slow in order to tame inflation,” Scharf said. “If there is a short recession, that’s not all that deep … there will be some pain as you go through it. Overall, everyone will be just fine coming out of it.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted this week that she misjudged the risk inflation posed last year. 

“There have been unanticipated and large shocks to the economy that have boosted energy and food prices, and supply bottlenecks that have affected our economy badly, that at the time I didn’t fully understand, but we recognize now,” Yellen told CNN Tuesday. 

Source: markets.businessinsider.com

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