I propose adding a new pastime to our gold standards of baseball, barbecues, and Thanksgiving dinner. This new pastime I call Fed-Watch or When Will the Fed Raise Rates? Since the financial crisis of 2008, this pastime has gained popularity to the point where this guessing game has become an obsession and started to drive some folks a little batty. Insanity and Gold Bugs go together like a horse and carriage, peanut butter and jelly and salt and pepper, or so I’ve been told.
But now that the U.S. economy is about to have one of the most impressive comeback plays ever in history, this pastime question becomes relevant: When will the Fed raise rates?
Part of the fun of this Fed guessing game is deciphering the clues dropped by members of the Federal Reserve. In the past many months, the Fed has indicated through their standard channels of smoke signals and voodoo chants that they won’t raise rates in 2021 no matter how hot the economic data looks. They are using the jobs data to guide their next steps and will not raise rates while we still have over 8 million Americans unemployed.