The Fed Confesses: No Rate Hike Until 2016

Back in May 2012, commentators in the economics community and in the financial press were talking about the Federal Reserve beginning to move toward rate hikes — soon. That month in Sovereign Investor, I wrote that the commentators were dead wrong — that the Federal Reserve’s low-rate policy “would last much longer … to 2015 — or even 2016.”

We’ve now reached the point where my analysis has come to pass.

We are approaching the final weeks of 2015 and still no interest-rate hike. We could still get one in December, but as Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said last week, it’s now much more likely the Fed puts off its first rate increase until next year.

So far, I’ve been right. And now I’ll tell you what I think is next in what will prove to be one of the greatest and most-painful sagas in American financial history: We will not see normalized interest rates for at least a generation.

That has implications on the (temporarily) strong U.S. dollar. It has implications across the economy. It has implications in the stock market. And it ultimately has implications on where you put your money to work hardest for you (hint: leave growth stocks behind and focus entirely on high-quality dividend payers).

Here’s what Mr. Evans told some business leaders in Milwaukee:

Before raising rates, I would like to have more confidence than I do today that inflation is indeed beginning to head higher. I believe that it could well be the middle of next year before the headwinds from lower energy prices and the stronger dollar dissipate enough so that we begin to see some sustained upward movement in core inflation. After liftoff, I think it would be appropriate to raise the target interest rate very gradually.

The emphasis is mine. It underscores all that I have been writing about for several years now.

The U.S. economy, while generally healthier than it was in the depths of the Great Recession, is not spry and nimble. It is increasingly debilitated because of excessive regulation and excessive debt.

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Author: Travis Esquivel

Travis Esquivel is an engineer, passionate soccer player and full-time dad. He enjoys writing about innovation and technology from time to time.

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