The last few months have been tense for both financial companies and finance professionals, in particular the corporate finance sector at large. We are not doing an economic prognosis here, but helping finance professionals to discover exciting recession-proof career pathways amidst the economic downturn.
Inflation is a key enemy of the Federal Reserve; and to douse inflation, the US Fed hiked interest rates to 75 bps. Knowing the trend, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report brought a warning that the monetary and fiscal policies in the developed economies can push the world economy into recession, far worse than the one in 2008. This contracted corporate earnings and landed lenders in a hot zone making mortgages more expensive, eventually increasing the odds of a recession in the near future.
IMF’s Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, opined “Central banks must ‘stay the course till they reach a neutral level. I don’t recall any moment in recent history when economists and investors were so divided on the global economy and monetary policy. But I am surprised to see the global economy is confronting many shocks and uncertainties: decades high inflation, Russia’s war in Ukraine, China’s Zero COVID-19 policy, an energy crisis in Europe, and recent natural disasters in North America and Asia.”
Speculation went high among investors as they hoped Fed would keep inflation under control, but the later economic data brought spirits down. As Fed Chair, Jeremy Powell marked that the Fed pivot will not be visible soon on the horizon, actuaries and financial risk management professionals have wide scope to assess and analyze risks and made predictions.
How did it all start?
To prevent a complete economic crash, Fed kept the interest rates at zero during the pandemic era. But with the economy getting back on its feet through supply chain disruptions, stifled consumer demand, low unemployment, and performing financial markets, the US fed governance dared on price hikes. Assuming the price rise was transitory, Fed was hit by a shock as the inflation rate was more than expected by March 2022, hence resulting in a tight monetary policy.
Why Fed Pivot matter to finance professionals?
High-interest rates are bad news for investors and finance companies as they have to borrow less for a high cost. Lower borrowings mean low investment; low investment leads to low earnings. High-value stocks in the stock market suffered due to low discounted cash flow valuations. As a result of this macroeconomic uncertainty and poor financial planning, investors were confounded by selling pressure of selling out their riskiest stocks and bonds. Hence the role of financial advisors and portfolio managers came under the limelight.
A ton of effort is pending on combating inflation by the Fed to reach 2%. As the first step, the US announced the opening of 260,000 jobs in October. Since the NRI fund flow increased by $2,789 billion from $1,743 in a year, the government sees a huge employment potential for qualified CPA, CA, FRM, CFA, and CMA accountants and finance professionals in investment, audit & tax, insurance, banking stock market, equity, advisory, and consultation domains.