Editorial by Economist and FISM Founder Dan Celia
At the end of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting Chairmen Powell said the Fed will keep its interest rate target range until it is confident the economy has weathered the coronavirus pandemic and is on track for maximum employment and price stability goals. I found no surprising decisions after the meeting, although many pointed out that the Fed’s focus on the virus highlighted the uncertainties that the economy and the leadership at the Federal Reserve face.
Powell seems worried about the economic conditions as a result of the resurgence of the virus stating that consumer spending is dropping. I don’t know that the uncertainty in the economy has diminished much since March, but certainly these uncertainties along with those in the financial markets and small business sector being able to maintain their operations are taking on a new level of concern and a higher level of concern.
The longer it takes before we seem to get the pandemic under enough control to get the workforce back in place the more the Chairmen’s concerns will grow. I would suggest that the uncertainties of this pandemic will all disappear after the election and the media has no more incentive for creating fear and negativity.
Not to take anything away from the great job that Chairmen Powell is doing, but the real blessing that has come to light in the last few weeks is that more and more doctors around the country are beginning to speak up about other treatment methods that are very available and in some cases are saving lives. As a matter of fact, we are seeing hospitals in some parts of the country taking on these treatments for the sake of saving lives and not bowing to pharmaceutical companies or the financial stability of their own institutions.
I think it’s safe to conclude that the Federal Reserve will be keeping interest rates very low for a very long time. The question that is likely to be on the minds of the voting members of the federal reserve is the fear of inflation and holding off as much as they can from doing any more quantitative easing for fear of devaluating the dollar further and thereby exacerbating the issue of rising inflation.
One thing is certain, it would be hard to argue that this Fed is not in-tune with the economy, even more than its predecessors. Whether this president thinks it or not, Powell is definitely one of his best picks.