So the Fed had to do it… but not because the US has built up its underlying strength nor looks likely to.
In calculating which course would be less damaging to the Fed’s somewhat tarnished credibility, Yellen
decided on the rise.
In any event, the Fed needed to raise the rate to give the Fed some elbow room should the world economy
and US economy within it fall out of bed.
The move at least gives its client mega-banks scope to make more money on their loan books while screwing
depositors by keeping deposit rates unchanged, essentially charging them to deposit with them.
Yellen hedged her announcement like crazy making it clear that the Fed remains ‘data-driven’ and flexible.
Even if the US does experience a strongly based rebound Yellen made clear that there’ll only be ‘baby steps’
to anything approaching ‘normalcy’ – a concept in need of redefinition anyway.
The global economy as a whole is rattling with overcapacity and lacking in aggregate final demand– where are
the ‘living wages’ and solid jobs in a world of ‘gigs’ and labour eliminating algorithms and robots?
It’s deflating, and a competitive devaluation race between the Yen, the Euro and the Renminbi is at the starting gate.
Where there’s low growth or worse, tensions rise between trading nations and within them – making social unrest, extreme
politics, even war more likely. Trump, the swings to the right in Poland, Hungary and France and Xi Jinping’s reversion to a
more Maoist politics and hard line foreign policy over the South China Sea make the point.
And, of course, ISIL is a beneficiary.
Watch for more discussion about the global rise and influence of the tech savvy ‘precariat’ – young people living precarious
Maybe Indian 10-year bonds are the best investment along with holdings in the autonomous, recession-proof Internet giants,
Facebook, Amazon, Google and Tencent.
Maybe key forecasts for 2016 are – Fed takes its rate negative again and introduces QE 4, and China devalues the renminbi –
this is now almost a consensus view, remembering that the 1994 renminbi devaluation presaged the 1997 Asia crisis.