Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Fed is Done!

For now, it seems obvious to me that the fed is done with it's rate raising campaign. With the GDP number showing a rapid slowdown in the economy, there is not the political will to continue raising rates. The fed, I believe, is operating under the premise that a slowdown in the economy, by itself, will be enough to decrease inflationary pressures. Whether or not this is correct remains to be seen. With the drop in long term yields lately, it is apparent that bond investors believe that the fed will in fact be lowering rates in the near future. I think that this belief has also permeated itself into the stock market with the pop last week after GDP numbers came out. However, the canary in the coal mine wil be the value of the dollar itself. If interest rate differentials become less attractive to foreign buyers, then dollar denomenated assets may be dumped, or at least purchased in much lesser quantities. The fed is walking a tightrope. They want to keep the dollar stable because of the dependance on foreign funding of our defecits, they want to keep inflationary expectations in check to keep long term rates down, they want to produce a soft landing in the housing market without a major systemic shock. Can they do it? I have my doubts. Previous credit binges have never ended well. And the fed, no matter how well intentioned, cannot protect us from our own follies forever.


Blogger WestchesterRenter said...

Cash just lost 50% in value over the last few years because the increasing house prices. That's a lot of inflation right there. Devaluing the USD just makes it complete.

The US administration has been pushing China to let the Yuen appreciate. I'm afraid a falling USD is what the US really wants.

How to protect yourself in this scenario? I don't want to buy a house at bubble prices, but is buying gold a solution? Gold prices look just as bubbly as house prices.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would go with gold or silver (poor mans gold).

I think the Fed is still going to raise rates in Aug.


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Blogger njdoc said...

Just because the dollar may be done as a form of international exchange, doesn't mean it will be worthless here. One might consider diversifying their holding between paper and specie. No one knows how this financial crisis will end. Both inflationary and deflationary arguments are cogent. These things are out of the control of individuals. If you are ultra wealthy, then yes you should spread your money around to different countries and different asset classes. But, for most of us this is unnecessary. By the way, cash has outpreformed both real esate and NASDAQ for the first 6 months of the year. Since lack of net national savings is probably our biggest problem, one might argue that the government will do what it can to induce people to save more. The only way this can occur is by making "cash" more attractive.

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