JPMorgan President Daniel Pinto knows firsthand about the ravages of triple-digit inflation, having grown up in Argentina.
Pinto, 59, vividly remembers supermarkets changing prices on an hourly basis, reports CNBC, which notes that inflation between 1975 and 1991 in Argentina averaged 300% a year.
“Supermarkets had these armies of people using machines to relabel products, sometimes 10 to 15 times a day,” Pinto says. “At the end of the day, they had to remove all the labels and start over again the next day.”
Argentinian workers rushed to exchange their paychecks into U.S. dollars; otherwise, they would automatically depreciate by 20%, Pinto recalls.
“Putting inflation back in a box is very important,” Pinto says. “If it causes slightly deeper recession for a period of time, that is the price we have to pay.
“That’s why, when people say, ‘The Fed is too hawkish,’ I disagree,” Pinto adds.
The Fed cannot permit inflation to become ingrained in the U.S. economy, or it will repeat the Fed’s monetary mistakes in the 1970s and 1980s, Pinto believes.
The president of the biggest investment bank in the U.S. by assets expects the fed funds rate to peak at 5%. That, along with higher unemployment, will eventually tame inflation.
Like his boss, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, Pinto believes a recession is imminent.
The only question, Pinto says, is how deep the recession will be.
It is natural for investors and retirement savers to be confused by the markets, with corporate earnings and the markets remaining fairly resilient, all the while inflation remains at 40-year highs.
While the S&P 500 was down 21% year-to-date through Friday, Pinto believes near-term earnings into early 2023 will disappoint — sending the markets down further.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom of the market yet,” says Pinto, widely believed to be Dimon’s successor. “When you think about corporate earnings heading into next year, expectations may still be too elevated. Multiples in some equity markets, including the S&P, are probably a bit high.”
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