Amidst the chaos in the U.S. banking sector, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and owner of Twitter, has been critical of the country’s central bank. Musk insists that the U.S. Federal Reserve is operating with “way too much latency in their data,” and he insists that the central bank needs to drop the federal funds rate “immediately.”
In the last week, three major U.S. banks collapsed, First Republic Bank was bailed out, and Credit Suisse received 50 billion Swiss francs from the Swiss National Bank. Just last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve lent the banks $164.8 billion to shore up liquidity. Despite all the bailouts and the expectation of the central bank injecting up to $2 trillion in liquidity after the creation of the Bank Term Funding Program (BTFP), the banking industry is still not out of the woods. A recently published study shows that 186 U.S. banking institutions are suffering from the same risks that caused Silicon Valley Bank’s failure.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2023
On Twitter, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has been critical of the Federal Reserve, with his recent commentary very similar to the statements he made last December. At that time, Musk warned that if the central bank raised the benchmark rate in December, the risk of a recession would be greatly amplified. After the Fed raised the rate by 50 basis points, Musk reiterated his position and said, “At the risk of being repetitive, these Fed rate increases might go down in history as the most damaging ever.” In the last week, Musk has once again criticized the U.S. central bank in a number of viral tweets.
After computer scientist and essayist Paul Graham shared an article about banking issues in the U.S. published by the Washington Post, Elon Musk responded to Graham’s tweet. “FDIC needs to change to unlimited coverage to stop bank runs and Treasury needs to stop issuing ridiculously high-yield bills, such that it makes no sense to have money in a low-interest-rate bank ‘savings’ account. Right now,” Musk tweeted. In another tweet about the small handful of U.S. bank collapses, Musk insisted that the U.S. central bank is too slow with its data, saying:
The Fed is operating with way too much latency in their data. Rates need to drop immediately.
Musk’s commentary about the Treasury bonds refers to the long-maturity bills affected by the Fed’s monetary tightening policy. The study about the 186 banks suffering from similar financial issues highlights the fact that 10- to 20-year and 20+ year Treasury bonds have lost roughly 25% to 30% of their market value. “Overall, as is evident, the Fed’s monetary policy tightening caused significant value declines in long-duration assets,” the study explains.
Musk has continuously called out the Fed’s swift rate-hike campaign. On January 13, 2023, Musk tweeted about the Fed and asked what would have happened in 2009 if the Fed had raised rates instead of lowering them. In a follow-up tweet, Musk added, “The higher the rates, the harder the fall.”
What are your thoughts on Elon Musk’s criticism of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy? Do you agree with his stance or do you have a different perspective? Share your insights in the comments section below.