Friday, December 6, 2013

Asset Markets See the Light: No Fed Taper on the (near) Horizon

It seems that financial asset markets have lost the jitters they've been feeling for the last several weeks based on the misguided fear of an imminent Fed "taper." The jobs report which came out today had unemployment at 7%, a half a percentage point above the metric Bernanke laid out as a parameter for the current bond-buying regimen of $85 billion per month. This return to complacency following the recent hand- wringing means one of two things: either I'm highly influential and my message has gotten through, or bond and equities traders have actually decided to take the explicit policy pronouncements of the FOMC at face value. I know which option I'd like to believe.

Like I've said, short-term interest rates are going to stay low as long as unemployment remains above at least 6.5%. Bond investors have nothing to fear but a strong labor market. When the FOMC meets on Dec. 18, lets hope they give me an early Christmas present in the form of a vindicated prognostication.

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