The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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No Pomp and Circumstance ??

Do you remember the mixed emotions when your kid graduated from high school?  There was pride that they had accomplished something worth doing.  There was relief that your efforts to get them functioning in the real world had some measurable success.  There was excitement that they would now be standing on their own two feet, facing their own challenges.

That’s how I feel about the Fed raising interest rates today.  Since the global financial crisis nine years ago, they have single-handedly sustained the economy, with no help from Congress.  Every move was scrutinized too-closely by everybody.  But, with today’s increase, I feel they are graduating and passing the baton back to Congress where it belongs.  Fiscal policy returns to center-stage today.

Like high school graduates, the Fed will face continuing challenges.  Their next challenge will be accusations of  playing politics with interest rates.  The stock market clearly sees this increase as a vote-of-confidence in the strength of our economy.  But, no president has ever wanted higher interest rates, and President Trump will be no different.  He will soon be criticizing the Fed for raising rates and making the dollar too strong, which hurts our exporters.  There is zero possibility that he will reappoint Janet Yellen to the Fed chair when her term expires next year.

Now, where is my hankie??  Sniff, sniff . . .