On September 17th I wrote an article showing how it is possible for the Federal Government to manipulate voting (http://wp.me/p3QtM7-ckH). At that time the Feds had not yet made their decision on interest rates. Today, their decision has been announced with strong dissention in the ranks.
Bloomberg had this to say about the decision reached on Thursday in an article titled, “Divided Fed Holds Fire, Signals 2016 Rate Increase Still Likely” by Jeanna Smialek:
“The sixth straight hold extends U.S. central bankers’ run of getting cold feet amid risks from abroad and inconsistent signs of economic strength. Now the focus will shift to December as the Fed’s likely last chance to raise interest rates in 2016 — a move that depends on how the economy, inflation and markets fare in the months surrounding a contentious presidential election… Three officials, the most since December 2014, dissented in favor of a quarter-point hike…The latest decision could embolden Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to unleash additional attacks on Yellen. The billionaire businessman said last week that the Fed “is being totally controlled politically” and might stand pat on rates for the rest of year.
Even the LA Times chimed in on pointing out the inconsistency in its article,”Is the Fed politically biased? Look at its interest-rate decisions as elections near” by Jim Puzzanghera and Don Lee:
“One official said he “thought it was conventional wisdom that we weren’t expected to act so close to an election,” according to a transcript of the closed-door Oct. 6, 1992 meeting. Another said that there was “a strong argument that the credibility” of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee “would be hurt by our doing something close to an election.
Finally, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan weighed in.“I wish we had the luxury to sit back and do nothing until after the election as is the conventional procedure of the Federal Open Market Committee,” he said. “I don’t think we have that luxury.” Nonetheless, the committee voted not to change rates..
Last week, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his latest shot at the Fed. He said Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen “should be ashamed of herself” for keeping the rate near zero for so long.
“It’s staying at zero because she’s obviously political and doing what Obama wants her to do,” Trump told CNBC.
Yellen is a Democrat who was nominated by Obama in 2013, although she’s continuing the low-rate policies begun by her predecessor, Ben S. Bernanke, a registered Republican in 2005 when he was first nominated for the job by President George W. Bush.
A rate hike could slow the economy and that might hurt the chances of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whose economic policies are largely a continuation of Obama’s..
Economic conditions in 1988 and 1996 pointed toward the need for increases, but the Fed held off on moves within two months of the election, Martin found.
The Fed has cut the interest rate within two months of a presidential election on three occasions since 1984, she said.
A rate increase is designed to slow the economy while a rate cut, which lowers the cost of borrowing, is intended to stimulate growth.”
Let’s review –
-The head honcho at the Federal Reserve is appointed by the President.
-That honcho is also a contributor to the Democrat Party and a registered Democrat.
-Perception of politics is to be avoided so no changes in Fed rates generally occur for the three months prior to general election but what might happen during those months if there were an emergency. Why should they care about politics? Their job is to work with monetary forecasts and economy not political agendas.
-Why has the Federal Reserve been given so much power in the overall scheme of government?
-The Feds considered raising rates in January but the market dropped like a lead balloon so they held off. Market speculators on derivatives immediately sent stock prices skyward above the year before.
-The markets are showing indications of rapid rise – “what goes up must eventually come down where there is gravity.” The weight of the object is the question here. Who will the speculating and derivatives spiraling out of control hurt most – moms and pops who hoping to add a bit to retirement mostly. Big investors hedge their bets all the time, some get caught in the crunch but the savvy ones know how to protect themselves. Not so retirement or 401K fund participants.
-There were three dissenters to holding off raising the rate because they felt it was a mistake.
-Unemployment figures were cited that we absolutely know are false because actual citizens that no longer have jobs or unemployment checks are not included.
-Stock financial gurus are just as confused as the rest of the country because the Feds have not been firm in their decisions.
-Even a notoriously liberal media outlet in a very ultra-liberal state as well as established financial media have questioned the perception of impropriety.
-If the stench of vote manipulation and political maneuvering were really to be avoided according to their closed meeting information, then why was a decision to change the rate not made between December 1, 2015 and end of second quarter 2016.
-The Fed obviously has not done their research on energy industry. Heavy regulations and Hillary’s campaign speeches have all but shut them down. Climate change which Obama is claiming to be the greatest threat to mankind has not apparently been placed as a top priority.
The “Pinocchio Nose Award” definitely should go to the Federal Reserve who is supposed to be independent of political bias and reasonably intelligent. Yet, they can make financial announcements that may affect the financial stability of prospective voters during major presidential elections by their decisions and actions. The Feds lack of decisiveness creates as much market uncertainty as any major natural disaster or rumor Wall Street circulates, especially when there has not been this much dissension by voting members in several years.