Fed in a Box Redux
Venturi’s initial blog post, Fed in a Box, dated August 15th, explained how the Federal Reserve would move glacially in raising the Fed Funds rate to avoid punishing debtors with a flurry of rate increases in a short period of time, a decision that would create a combination of risks with the potential to derail our fragile growth trend . Ten months hence, the Fed raised rates once and backtracked on their plan of a series of increases. Save for a steady decline in the U.S. unemployment rate, little else supports a rate increase. Instead, we have experienced underwhelming economic growth—both here and globally, a corporate profits recession, mild inflation, a persistently strong US dollar, and nagging European concerns (now being the Brexit vote & Greek reforms). Even those investors myopically focused on low unemployment trends must consider the context of said trends, as the labor participation rate has plummeted in recent years (see illustration).