by James Rickards
The Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC, meets March 15–16 under Janet Yellen’s leadership to decide interest rate policy for the Federal Reserve System. The consensus of economists and the fed funds futures market is that the Fed will not raise rates. My view is that a rate hike is still on the table.
That’s a debate worth having, but the truth is it doesn’t matter. The U.S. economy, indeed the global economy is heading for a recession later this year. A rate hike or a pause by the Fed won’t change that. Fed policy may affect markets in the short run, and may affect the exact timing of the recession, but it can’t change the outcome. The economy is bigger than Fed policy, and it will have its way.
The argument for a rate hike is straightforward. Job creation remains strong, and labor force participation has begun to rise.