It is almost as if the FOMC is still in easing mode in tandem with other global central bankers.
Richmond Federal Reserve chief Jeff Lacker dissented and voted in favor of an immediate increase of 25 bps in the fed funds rate of interest on Thursday, but that’s unlikely to provide financial headlines on Friday.
Of greater curiosity is which member (and just how influential that member might be) penciled in a negative fed funds rate for this year and next. While there was a wholesale shift downwards in the pattern of anticipated rate increases as the policy backdrop progresses, one member moved his or her “appropriate rate of interest” to below 0% for the end of 2015 and 2016.
So, not only does Jeff Lacker have his work cut out in convincing his colleagues that the take-off point is here, it appears he also has to convince someone that the next move is UP rather than DOWN. A giant whodunit is now underway to find out which policy member is so frightened about the fragility of both global financial markets and the underlying economy that they’re arguing for a reduction in interest rates by year end.
Chart shows June and September dot plots reveal a big old bear at the Fed.