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Steve Forbes: Fed Rate Hikes Will Lead Credit Markets to 'Work Again'

By    |   Friday, 31 Jul 2015 11:27 AM

Federal Reserve officials plan to begin raising interest rates this year, assuming economic conditions don't deteriorate, and that's a good thing, Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, tells Newsmax TV.

The Fed has kept short-term rates at a record low since December 2008.

"When the Fed allows rates to rise you're going to see the beginnings of the credit markets in this country working again," Forbes told Newsmax TV's "The Hard Line" program.

"Small and new businesses are having a very difficult time with regulations, which make bank loans very expensive for small businesses."

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Thus these companies aren't receiving much in the way of loans, especially from community banks, which are "getting crushed by regulations," Forbes said.

"What you have is a situation where . . . big companies are doing well, the government is doing well in terms of borrowing. But the people who are the innovators, the job creators, which come from small businesses, they're suffering in this environment."

So rising rates can help job creators, Forbes maintains.

He doesn't think much of rosy economic forecasts — at least for the next 1½ years. "Their predictions have never been right for the last 20 years," Forbes said. "I don't know why it's going to change now."

He sees deflationary pressure for the short term. Consumer prices climbed only 0.1 percent in the 12 months through June.

And the economy "isn't going to be doing extremely well at all," Forbes said. GDP grew 2.3 percent in the second quarter.

"I'm hoping that with the new president, we'll get the kind of reforms that Ronald Reagan implemented in the early 1980s. Then America can start to hum again. Until we get a new president, that is not going to happen," Forbes said.

As for the stock-market plunge in China that has seen the Shanghai Composite Index drop 29 percent since June 12, investors are discovering that in any market, "what goes up can come down," Forbes said.

"Even though over time stocks may move up, it's never a smooth path. It's always like a bit of a rollercoaster."

Forbes notes a contradiction in Chinese economic policy: on one hand officials "want the yuan, to be a global currency, which means open capital markets. But on the other hand, they're trying to manipulate the stock market."

China should stick with the openness, Forbes says. "There are over 40 million small businesses in China, which account for over two-thirds of the economy. That's where the real juice, the real innovation, the real vibration of the Chinese economy is," he said.

"But they need more . . . mature capital markets than they have now. Otherwise they're going to remain in the twilight zone, and China's future growth is going to be a fraction of what it has been in recent years."

China's economy grew 7.4 percent in 2014, the slowest pace in 24 years.

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Federal Reserve officials plan to begin raising interest rates this year, assuming economic conditions don't deteriorate, and that's a good thing, Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, tells Newsmax TV.
Steve Forbes, Fed, Rate Hikes, Credit Markets
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2015-27-31
Friday, 31 Jul 2015 11:27 AM
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