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Market to Fed: “See You in September. Counting the Hours…”

Just a week past the previous Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) meeting and the countdown to the next one (September 17-18) has begun in earnest. Already various Fed policymakers are out there, some making public hawkish rate comments, others dovish. Call it an intravenous rate news drip feed for investors. I don’t know if it is haphazard or simply on purpose, to keep investors guessing.

September’s FOMC meeting will be particularly interesting because Fed Chairman Jerome Powell might have painted himself into a corner. He is on the record as noting the previous 25 basis points reduction, which took the Fed funds target rate down to 2.00%-2.25%, is a kind of mid-cycle adjustment. "Let me be clear,” he noted after the FOMC meeting. “What I said was it’s not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts." These are words the Fed chairman might be forced to eat.

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