He recommends gold and precious metals as “the least-bad asset class for investors to consider.”
This writer is convinced that the Fed would not sit by in such a circumstance and agrees with Peter Schiff that it will expand intervention.
Meanwhile, as the world awaits the FOMC decision, it is timely to note that in addition to the idea mentioned by numerous commentators that the Fed might adopt a “one and done” strategy to raise interest rates, several intelligent commentators have floated the zany idea that the Fed would decide to achieve “liftoff” through an even smaller “mini-raise” on the order of 10 to 15 basis points.
Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer has debunked this idea, and virtually no one, even among those who think the Fed will raise the Federal Funds Rate by a quarter point, thinks it will adopt a mini-hike. This has zero probability.
Bill Smith, President & CEO of SAM Advisors, quips that Fed Chair Yellen “has been missing for 63 days and had her minions spitting out all sorts of crazy things. This is a Fed gone awry.”
Elena Okorochenko, of S&P, responds to CNBC’s Martin Soong’s concern that a “credit event” is likely to occur in China. This writer expects the Fed to intervene in such a circumstance.
Jim Grant, of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, tells Kelly Evans he thinks Janet Yellen will adopt a 25bp hike “to change the subject,” and he goes on to attack “the management of interest rates and asset prices by our well-intended but not omniscient masters of the Fed.”
He goes on to say, “We’re all living in a valuation hall of mirrors. Credit is comprehensively, almost universally mispriced.”
Grant thinks this has to end, but this writer expects the Fed to double down. Grant seems not to realize that if something goes wrong with dicey bonds, the Fed will just buy them. This writer is reminded of an admonition by Justice Brandeis to beware of “well-meaning people, full of zeal but without understanding.”
Samuel Rines, of Chilton Capital Management LLC, calls the Fed’s propensity to focus on global risk to justify accommodative policy “the Greenspan trap” and doubts it will ever act.
This writer would advise that the Fed does not ignore domestic considerations as reasons to delay cutting back its intervention, and a leading example is the mandate to make sure there is no “credit event” or crisis event that would damage Democrats’ chances in the 2016 election.