Fed chief Powell just hiked rates for last time

Federal Reserve chief Jay Powell hiked rates a fourth time this year on Wednesday to 2.5% for the Fed Funds Rate. He also told reporters that the committee is looking at two additional hike in 2019, taking one prospective hike away for next year.

This is the classic overshoot by the Fed. Seeing inflation that’s not there, Seeing bogeyman that will never materialize.

In the face of a global trade slowdown as Europe falls into a rioting mess over socialist policies to curb emissions with higher taxes on fuel consumption and other government intrusions into the people’s lives.

The Asian market has been weakening for all of 2018 as demand for tech goods have cratered. Apple has little market penetration for its new iPhones as consumers say $1,000+ models are too rich. I’ll stick with my older model.

Tariffs — in an attempt to level the trade playing field — have rocked China after decades of favorable trading terms. No longer having advantages against domestic producers is producing a boom for US manufacturers.

So where are Powell & Co. looking for this bogeyman called inflation? Gas is trading below $48 a barrel, however you still see problems here in the US.

Fedex reported troubling results this week in their quarterly results. This in the face of allegedly growing online sales the trucking industry is moving less freight.

This pullback by the US consumer can be put at the feet of Powell & Co. since there jawboning and hikes have taken 401(k)s into the red for the year, which has Americans pulling back. The numbers for this will come out in early 2019.

I’ll put myself on the line today, this is the last rate rise Powell will oversee. It will go so horribly wrong in 2019 that the Fed will actually have to cut rates by September 2019. This will be because of how the global slowdown will affect US growth.


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Apple wins back-to-school cash grab

Retail sales for the back-to-school season came in lighter than analysts projected 0.2% vs 0.3%.

The lowered expectations was far off last year’s season, which was 0.5%.

To say seven years of near-zero wage growth and no savings interest has the American consumer squeezing every dime is no exaggeration.

The global economic slowdown is coming ashore from reduced China exports (due to falling demand) and European malaise, not to overlook the desperate economic conditions in South American.

All the while crude oil prices have been cratering this summer on diminished demand and OPEC price wars.

The US retail picture is so bad that a bankrupt surfing clothier is taking space in a liquidated electronics firm — Radio Shack — in a vain attempt to boost sales.

Perhaps all those kids going back to school were given a choice, new jeans or new iPhone? Judging from the news out of Apple, Abercrombie & Fitch should be worried.