Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Fed meeting today

Predictions are for fools - here's mine on today's interest rate decision from the Fed: they cut only a quarter point and the market sells off hard.

Anyway - the Fed is not supposed to be in the game of "saving" the market - whatever that means. Many people think that the recent inter-meeting three quarter cut was a mistake anyway, driven by world wide collapsing stock markets - that now in hindsight may have been partly caused by the Société Générale scandal (see this).

My idea of only a quarter point cut is not as solid as it was over the weekend- the terrible housing news from yesterday actually gave the stock market fuel (economy really bad, must cut rates more = (somehow!) good news for stocks). Of course it is only the traders that are going to profit from this - if we are in a recession, corporate earnings are going to continue to suffer and so will stock prices. Those who can move big or small piles around quickly (traders, both of the institutional and day variety) are probably the only ones that are going to profit from today's decision. An economy this weak (real or perceived) is not going to spring to life because cheaper money is floating around.