Mar 8, 2021 - Economy & Business

Country-singing economist drops new music video

A photo of clay animation person at the new york stock exchange.

Screenshot from "The Fed Is Watching the Market."

The undisputed king of economics and finance country music debuted a new video on Sunday night for his certified banger "The Fed Is Watching the Market."

What's happening: In an exclusive interview, Merle Hazard tells Axios why he released a new video for the song almost two years after first performing it and details why the song's lyrics still resonate today and could for quite some time.

What we're hearing: "The Fed is watching the market/the market's watching back in return," Hazard croons on the track.

  • "Fundamentals are in tatters, I'm not sure it even matters."
  • "What companies possess or what they earn."

Where it stands: Hazard, aka investment manager Jon Shayne, says the uncertainty and anger surrounding the pandemic and the election caused him to hold off on releasing the song earlier.

  • "Things are somewhat more normal now," he tells Axios.
  • "Fed officials were talking last week about having noticed the sharp increase in Treasury yields. So it's a decent time...and people maybe have mental space for it now that they wouldn't have had from September of last year through January of this year."

Between the lines: The song reflects the worries Merle Hazard shares with many investors about creeping inflation and the zero-interest-rate environment that was expected to be temporary and has instead become a long-term feature of investing.

  • "Rates being at zero is like gravity having been repealed," he says. "And I don't think interest rates can stay this low forever. When they go up, asset prices, not just equities but real estate, too, likely will come down.

The bottom line: "I like poking fun at the Fed in my songs, but actually, I respect them and think they have a nearly impossible job," Hazard says.

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