Don't Expect the Same Mistakes from the Fed

11/26/2014 12:01 am EST

Focus: MARKETS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

The Fed will be in an interesting position at its December meeting as MoneyShow's Jim Jubak thinks they'll be paying careful attention to the mistakes made in Japan and the EuroZone.

It's a kind of, well, weird facet of the Fed calendar that we really didn't have much in the way of a Fed meeting in October. There was a meeting but there was no press conference so, really, we're going to go from September to December 17 without a Fed press conference so we really don't know exactly what the Fed is thinking.

The 17th will be the next meeting of the committee that sets rates, the Open Market Committee and we've got a press conference then and get a good feeling for what the Fed is thinking but it's been a long gap.

You're sitting there and if you can sort of imagine what's going on in the Fed's mind. The Fed is sitting there watching. Well, they're watching Japan and going, “Oh, geez, so this is what happens when you remove stimulus too quickly.” They're watching Europe and going, “Oh, so this is what happens when you don't stimulate enough and austerity just doesn't work.” They're looking at the election results and going, “Okay, the Republicans are talking about…talking,”

I think is the key word here, a responsible budget cuts and the Fed is going, “Okay, well, if we did that, that would take money out of the economy and might also stall the recovery,” so they're looking at all of these things and trying to decide how quickly they should move.

I think everything that's going on right now suggests that the Fed is going to probably move a little more slowly than everyone expects. They're going to be very, very cautious because they certainly don't want to fall into the trap of Japan. I think they're worried about the market's reaction.

In October, we had a very strange event in the Treasury market where you had extreme volatility and liquidity dried up and the Fed is basically sitting there going, well, we don't want to go through that again. The market clearly has some kind of structural problem. We don't know exactly what it is. All of these things, I think, argue that the Fed is going to be very, very cautious. I'd be very surprised to see anything out of the December 17 meeting that suggests the Fed was going to move earlier than anyone expects in 2015 on raising interest rates.

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