Market Wrap: St. Louis Fed Pres. Calls for Quicker Rate Hikes and US Closes Kyiv Embassy

Market uncertainty continues to mount as St. Louis Fed President calls for quicker rate hikes and tensions build between Russia and Ukraine


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


key takeaways

  • St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said the Fed should increase interest rates more quickly than previously stated
  • In a sign of worsening tensions in Ukraine, the US has relocated its Kyiv embassy to western Ukraine, causing more fear in the markets

The St. Louis Fed president calls for faster rate hikes

James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve, called for a more rapid approach to interest rate hikes Monday, proposing a 100 basis point increase by July 1.

Bullard noted that the Fed's "credibility was on the line" and that the last few months indicate that inflation is showing no signs of slowing.

"It was really October, November, December, January that called into question any idea that this inflation was naturally going to moderate in any reasonable time frame without the Fed taking action," said Bullard.

US Embassy in Ukraine relocated

More uncertainty was added to the market when Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced the US Embassy in Ukraine would be relocated hundreds of miles away to Lviv, a city on the Polish border.

“We are in the process of temporarily relocating our Embassy operations in Ukraine from our Embassy in Kyiv to Lviv due to the dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces,” Blinken said in a statement Monday.

The market has been dancing on impending rate hikes for some time. The added pressure from a potential conflict between Ukraine, Russia and NATO nations has only added more stress to an already uncertain market.

The S&P 500 continued its fall and dropped by as much as 1.16% during the day. It ended the day down just 0.38% after a slow climb back. The Nasdaq and Dow followed a similar pattern of volatility during the day but closed only slightly down or neutral. Crypto, which has maintained a degree of correlation to equities, remained largely flat through the day with bitcoin dropping around 0.6% intraday but ending the day up 0.77%.

[stock_market_widget type="accordion" template="chart" color="#5B35D5" assets="^GSPC,^IXIC,^DJI" start_expanded="true" display_currency_symbol="false" api="yf" chart_range="1mo" chart_interval="1d"]

[stock_market_widget type="accordion" template="chart" color="#5B35D5" assets="BTC-USD,ETH-USD" start_expanded="false" display_currency_symbol="true" api="yf" chart_range="1mo" chart_interval="1d"]

Top stories

Story: UK Tax Watchdog Seizes NFTs in $1.9M Fraud Investigation

  • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has not taken control of the three NFTs, but is instead preventing them from being sold via court order, according to Sky News
  • Three people have been arrested on suspicion of attempting to defraud the UK authority

Story: Crypto Lender BlockFi To Pay $100M in Fines to US Regulators

  • The penalties extend from the SEC’s review of BlockFi’s high-interest yield account last year
  • The lender is prohibited from offering US citizens any new products that resemble its high-interest yield account while it seeks to register a similar compliant product

Story: Cardano, Polkadot ETPs Hit Frankfurt Stock Exchange

  • Valour CEO says firm is “only at the beginning” of bringing crypto products to regulated exchanges
  • Launches come amid a spree of altcoin ETP launches from competing companies 21Shares and CoinShares

Story: Animoca Brands and Brinc To Invest up to $30M in Play-to-Earn Ecosystem

  • A Guild Accelerator Program will provide up to $500,000 for each early-stage startup selected
  • Crypto-focused gaming grew exponentially over the last 12 months, and market players expect it to continue this year and further crypto adoption

Going forward

The likelihood of steep rate hikes seems to be getting higher and higher as inflation continues upwards. This alone could result in a volatile period in the markets. Should the tension between Russia and Ukraine amount to anything serious, the markets are in for a very bumpy ride.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Akash is a general-purpose compute platform with GPUs, storage, LLM training or inference, and validator hosting through its two-sided marketplace.


The SEC could allow half a dozen or more such funds to launch at once, Ark Invest CEO says


2023 saw a decline in a16z crypto funding, but the behemoth VC firm teased what it’s excited for next year


“Iran Unchained” launched a new version of its grant platform to make donations to activists easier


The stablecoin marks the first time a regulated European bank has made a euro-pegged stablecoin available on a crypto exchange


Build it and they will come, perhaps, but making crypto easier to use is turning out to be just as important


Amid moves by Itau Unibanco and Nubank, the country could serve as “a proof of concept” for TradFi-crypto integrations, industry research exec says