Inflation, Interest-Rate Jitters, and Putin Are Brewing a Fierce Storm for Investors

Pete Seeger’s words describing stubborn, misguided leadership in the midst of obviously worsening conditions came back this past week with news that U.S. inflation had notched another four-decade high—7.5% annualized—in January, making for the dourest consumer sentiment since 2011, during the sluggish recovery that followed the recession spurred by the financial crisis of 2008-09. At the same time, despite increasing expectations of the Federal Reserve acting to slow inflation, the central bank for now is maintaining its crisis stance of near-zero interest rates. The anticipation that the Fed will move from extreme accommodation continues to ripple through the bond markets and, in turn, the equity markets.

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