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I am not an economist......but I have some thoughts on the Fed, and I am a history buff, especially with folks that changed the world.
"I NEVER WORRY ABOUT ACTION, BUT ONLY ABOUT INACTION." ~ Winston Churchill.
These words proved especially true last week, as the big story was the Fed's lack of action following their recent meeting, or decision to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged - but is the Fed's decision a cause for worry? The financial markets seem to think so. The Fed is in a tough spot with the economy performing sluggishly, the housing market still struggling to stabilize, consumer confidence being low, and food and energy costs going up seemingly every day. They made the decision to hold rates steady for now, but looking forward, what does all this mean for Bonds and home loan rates?
While the Fed made a smart move, in my opinion, to cut its benchmark rate back in September to stimulate the economy, the continued string of cuts has considerably weakened the US Dollar against the Euro. And since oil is priced in Dollars, the decline of the Dollar has pushed oil prices to rise, even though consumption in the US is down. Prior to the Fed starting their recent string of cuts in mid-September, oil was trading at a then staggeringly high $73/barrel, and it took $1.35 to buy 1 Euro. And after nine months of Fed rate cuts, the Dollar has weakened to where it takes $1.57 to buy 1 Euro...which has greatly influenced oil prices to top $140/barrel. And because oil is involved in so much of what we purchase, prices have gone up on everything.
The bottom line: A stronger stance against inflation by the Fed - which would mean rate hikes ahead - could help strengthen the Dollar, combat high oil prices, and cause Bonds and home loan rates to improve in turn, as inflation is the arch enemy of both. It will be important to see what the Fed decides to do about the Fed Funds Rate at their next meeting in August, so stay tuned!
Ron Largent at Keller Williams Realty in Redding, CA
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.