Here we go again. In what became American tradition years ago, the Federal Reserve released minutes from its most recent policy meeting, lending the masses to think there is some real discussion on just how close the next rate hike will be. Taken at face value, we are supposed to think that it’s going to happen very soon, just as soon as they can get their hands on “more economic data” to confirm. It’s unbelievable- to paraphrase the show Archer- in the sense that I do not believe any of this.
The Federal Reserve, while never truly “independent” as their mandate claims, now spin things more shamelessly than elected officials- and given the insanity that we currently find ourselves in, that’s really saying something. What “more economic data” do these people need? We live in an era where we have more data than most of us know what to do with! For those not old enough to remember a pre-zero interest rate environment, or for those who have simply forgotten- seriously, it’s been one-third of a generation already- this was initially supposed to be a temporary response to the economic crisis of 2008. The crisis, at least on the surface, abated within 2 or 3 years. Then Fed-chairmen Ben Bernanke said the rates would be “normalized”, once unemployment fell below 6.5%. When we actually reached that point, though, the Fed changed their tune, stating there were other factors that went into consideration, even though 6.5% was the benchmark THEY STATED THEMSELVES!