Tags: Blitzer | Fed | rate | hike

S&P's Blitzer: Markets Need Not Fear Fed Rate Hike

By    |   Monday, 12 January 2015 12:09 PM

Many financial market participants are worried that when the Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates, stocks and bonds will plunge while the dollar soars, wreaking great havoc on the economy and investors.

But investors can relax a bit, says David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. "A glance at the last two times the Fed shifted from easing to raising rates suggests that these fears are misplaced," he writes on the firm's website.

As Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren explained last week, "even with some unusual market conditions, the Fed's shift shouldn't send markets into turmoil," Blitzer says.

"The last two Fed tightening moves began in February 1994 and in June 2004. Both were taken in stride in the economy, the stock market and the foreign exchange markets."

This time around, economists expect the Fed to begin increasing rates around mid-year. The central bank has kept its federal funds rate target at a record low of zero to 0.25 percent for six years.

"The initial Fed move isn't likely to cause massive damage. However, the Fed's first step will probably be followed by further tightening and the cumulative effect will grow. For investors the message of the data is not to panic at the Fed's first tightening move, but not to ignore it either."

Meanwhile, Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners, lists as one of his 10 biggest surprises for 2015 that the Fed "finally raises short-term interest rates, well before the middle of the year, encouraged by the improving employment data and strong Gross Domestic Product growth."

He writes that "the timing proves faulty, however, as the momentum of the economy has begun to flag and a short-term slowdown has started. The end of monetary accommodation and rising rates precipitate a correction in equities."

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Many financial market participants are worried that when the Federal Reserve begins raising interest rates, stocks and bonds will plunge while the dollar soars, wreaking great havoc on the economy and investors.
Blitzer, Fed, rate, hike
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2015-09-12
Monday, 12 January 2015 12:09 PM
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