Fed Waves The White Flag On More Interest Rate Hikes
June 21, 2016
As I and others predicted last week, the Fed voted not to raise short-term interest rates at its June 14-15 policy meeting. In light of the terrible May jobs report on June 3, policymakers decided that the US economy is not strong enough for a rate hike at this point.
Not only that, the Fed also appears to be backing off of its earlier intent to raise rates at least two more times this year. Six of the 10 voting members on the policy committee now see only one minor rate hike this year, most likely at the September 20-21 policy meeting, if at all.
Following that discussion, I want to turn to a political discussion which has overheated in the last week or so. In the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack on June 12, President Obama has come under intense political criticism over his refusal to utter the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”
In what most analysts agreed was the angriest speech of his presidency, Mr. Obama lashed out at his critics last Tuesday and declared that we are winning the war against ISIS. Yet just two days later, the Director of the CIA testified before Congress that we are NOT winning the war against ISIS. He said the radical terror group remains as strong as ever and warned that there will likely be more attacks like Orlando in the weeks and months ahead. This is stunning!
Why President Obama chose to give the rosy assessment of the war on ISIS just two days before CIA Director John Brennan was scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee is a mystery to me. Maybe it’s just because he was so angered by all the criticism, or maybe there’s more to it. I’ll give you my thoughts below.