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Off The Cuff: Are The Fed Rate Hikes Ending Early?

Decoding this week's Fed update
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3:07 PM
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In this week's Off The Cuff podcast, Chris and Wolf Richter discuss:

  • Are The Fed Rate Hikes Ending?
    • Decoding Powell's latest guidance
  • Lower Oil Prices Are Not The Boon Most Are Expecting
    • The implications are mixed
  • The Housing Market Continues To Soften
    • In many markets, we're now clearly past the top
  • GM Layoffs Are A Sign Of What's Coming
    • Cost-cutting is the next corporate wave

The minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting were released this past week and saw much scrutiny by those hoping for an early end to the Fed's program of interest rate hikes. After the ugly market drop in October, the Fed has come increasingly under political criticsm and pressure to slow/stop its pace of tightening.

Many were cheered to see Chairman Powell's declaration that rates are now "close" to his goal of "neutral". So far, pundits and the markets are interpreting that as a dovish moderation of Powell's original plans. Stocks and bonds jumped at the news.

But Wolf and Chris aren't so sanguine. Wolf explains below why he's not convinced Powell's plan is much changed, and he and Chris later proceed to identify all the ways in which higher interest rates are still likely in our future:

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