Survey: Financial Pros Offer Fed Only 49 Percent Approval Rating

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 01:16 PM

By Dan Weil

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Financial industry professionals give the Federal Reserve an approval rating of just 49 percent in a survey by ConvergEx Group brokerage.

A total of 32 percent of the 219 people polled by ConvergEx Aug. 12-14 disapprove of the Fed's performance.

A total of 59 percent of respondents say the Fed is behind the curve in raising interest rates, while 32 percent say the Fed is getting it right and 9 percent say rates should be lower.

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Fed Chair Janet Yellen receives a "B" grade from 53 percent of respondents, an "A" from 23 percent, a "C" from 14 percent, a "D" from 4 percent and an "F" from 6 percent.

"The financial industry likes Janet Yellen but believes she leads a central bank that is overexposed and behind the curve," Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx' chief market strategist said in a statement.

"There's tangible fear among investment professionals about the unwinding of quantitative easing and the painful increases in [interest] rates that will follow."

Meanwhile, 36 prominent economists, fund managers and analysts surveyed by CNBC forecast on average that Fed's the first rate hike will come in July 2015.

The Fed has kept its federal funds rate target at a record low of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008.

CNBC survey respondents predict the rate-hike cycle will close in the fourth quarter of 2017 with the fed funds rate at 3.16 percent. The estimate of 30 months for the cycle compares to a 21-month average since 1983.

"The Fed is going to move very slowly," Scott Wren, senior equity strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors, wrote in his survey response. "This modest growth/modest inflation environment is unlikely to change."

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