St. Louis Fed President James Bullard issued the opening salvo in the Fed's capitulation to the market on Monday, saying an interest rate cut "may be warranted soon."

What he said: Bullard, a voter this year on the Fed's rate-setting committee, cited the rising risk of global trade tensions and weaker-than-expected inflation as reasons he could favor cutting U.S. overnight interest rates.

  • Lowering rates soon could "help recenter inflation and inflation expectations," he said. It could also "provide some insurance in case of a sharper-than-expected slowdown."
  • The Fed "faces an economy that is expected to grow more slowly going forward, with some risk that the slowdown could be sharper than expected due to ongoing global trade regime uncertainty," Bullard said, according to a transcript of his speech in Chicago.

What he didn't say: Ignoring commentary from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other FOMC policymakers so far this year who insist the Fed plans to hold rates steady, the bond market and Fed fund futures have been pricing in multiple rate cuts by year-end.

Between the lines: If the Fed does cut rates this year — some analysts predict it will be as early as September — it would add further fuel to the fire of Fed critics who say the stock market is dictating U.S. monetary policy.

Flashback: The Fed had signaled it planned to raise U.S. interest rates 3 times this year as recently as November.

Go deeper: Fed leaves rates on hold as political pressure ramps up

Go deeper

Pelosi says Trump is "delusional" for thinking GOP will win the House

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called President Trump "delusional" on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday for predicting Republicans will win the majority in the House of Representatives.

Why it matters via Axios' Alayna Treene: It's not clear who is telling Trump the GOP has a shot at winning back the House, but most congressional Republicans privately acknowledge that remaining in the minority is a foregone conclusion. The real question is how many seats they lose.

32 mins ago - Health

Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.

Halloween and COVID-19: What you need to know

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos will be difficult and more isolated this year, but can still be done while minimizing harm to others.

Why it matters: Traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating, indoor parties, haunted houses, crowded cemeteries and communal candy bowls are all considered high-risk activities by the CDC.

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