Thursday, September 1, 2016

FOMC Focus: Will Stocks Change Direction After Labor Day?

Today's headline offers a provocative suggestion, though the simple answer to the question is a flat-out "NO," simply because the overtly political Federal Reserve will not - under an circumstances - raise interest rates in September.

That is almost so widely accepted within the financial community as to make it nearly a fact, a fait accompli, a gospel truth.

There are any number of reasons why the FOMC will not raise the federal funds rate even one basis point at their upcoming meeting on September 20 and 21, not the least of which is the assumption that such a rash move would derail the presidential bid by the status quo candidate, the fair-haired-soon-to-be-liar-in-chief, Hillary Clinton.

Naturally, that's a one-sided argument which has nothing to do with economics, but the Fed has other issues behind their upcoming decision to stand pat on rates for the foreseeable future.

Among these issues are the ongoing candidacy of Mr. Donald J. Trump, who is seen as anathema to anything and everything establishment, and that means the Fed itself. A Trump victory in November would almost certainly foment much in the way of chaos, including a pre-emptive attack from the Fed itself, sensing an almost perfect opening to raise rates and crash the market, maybe even do away with the entire post-Bretton Woods arrangement via a wholesale financial collapse.

That might be fun, but the projections fro the US economy going forward are not, have not been for some time and will not be. That's the main reason the Fed is stuck at the near-zero bound, because not only the US economy, but that of almost all developed nations are not growing. Rather, they are growling with intense citizen upset, declining labor utilization rates and a demographic wall that current policies can and will never scale.

The Fed is boxed in, as are all central banks. They can't do anything except buy up more overpriced assets even though that effort has failed to produce their highly-anticipated inflation and associated growth. One might say that all the central bank coddling of the system has produced is a massive over-supply of everything and a deflationary vortex that challenges their Keynesian orthodoxy.

The Fed - unless Hillary Clinton is elected president, and even that's no clincher - is toast.

Thursday's Results:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
18,419.30, +18.42 (0.10)

5,227.21, 13.99 (0.27%)

S&P 500
2,170.86, -0.09 (0.00%)

NYSE Composite
10,771.91, +7.16 (0.07%)

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