Charles Scharf, CEO of Wells Fargo, said that he believes in “more substantial rate hikes” because the Federal Reserve is trying to control high inflation and that the economy isn’t as well prepared as it should.
Scharf said that while he wouldn’t place a bet on a number of numbers, he would rather bet on significant rate increases. Scharf spoke to Sara Eisen at Aspen Ideas Festival on Wednesday. He also stated that he considers 50-75 basis point increases to be “significant.”
“Is it going be more than that?” He said that it could be, but that would require data changes to see such a thing.
Jerome Powell, Fed Chair, stated Wednesday at an European Central Bank forum that he will not allow inflation to control the U.S. economy.
“The risk is that you transition to a higher level of inflation because of the multiplicity and severity of shocks,” said the central bank leader. The central bank’s leader stated that it was their job to stop that from happening. “We won’t allow a transition of a low-inflation climate to a high inflation environment.”
These comments come after several Fed rate increases in recent months. The Fed’s June 75 basis point hike was the Fed’s largest since 1994.
Scharf stated that the Fed is “very clear about how they think about the right movements” and he gave credit to them.
He said, “They have done exactly what they promised to do and they are very clear that it will continue.”
Scharf stated that, while small businesses and consumers have been very strong, rising rates have not had an impact on the wider economy.
He stated that rates will rise and that he was certain of it. “We know that both consumers and businesses will see deterioration. We’re going be surprised when it happens.
Scharf stated that this does not mean that the world is ending, but that it was important to recognize that and to focus on the solutions.
Markets and economies are not ignorant of the risks and current situation. Just recently, the stock market experienced its worst half-year since 1970. According to recent survey data, Main Street and corporate America expects a recession. According to the most recent Small Business Survey, the majority of small-business owners anticipate a recession. However, not one CFO Council Survey respondent said that they don’t expect a recession.
On June 22, Powell informed Congress that inflation continues to be too high and must fall. The Consumer Price Index rose 8.6% in May compared to the prior year, marking its highest level since 1981.
Powell stated that “Over the coming months, I will be looking at compelling evidence that inflation has been moving down consistent with inflation returning back to 2%.” “We expect that rate increases will continue. The pace of these changes will depend on the new data and the changing outlook for the economy.
Scharf stated, “We’re going to this stronger than ever,” Scharf added, “We have the legislators regulators Fed, who have extraordinary convictions, who have exceptional tools and that makes it feel pretty good about how we can get through anything.”