Will Santa Fed Bring Us a Rate Hike for Christmas?

By Markets Fool.com

In this segment of the Sept. 22 MarketFoolery podcast, host Chris Hill and Bill Barker, portfolio manager for Motley Fool Asset Management, consider the results of this week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting: No rate hike for now -- an expectation which the market had priced in -- but it seems likely one will come soon. They also discuss Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's ire over suggestions that the central bank is not independent.

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A full transcript follows the video.

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This podcast was recorded on Sept. 22, 2016.

Chris Hill: Let's talk about the Fed meeting. It wrapped up yesterday afternoon as I think was expected. There was no rate hike announced, and yet all of the tea leaf reading after the fact seemed to point to an increased likelihood that the Fed is going to raise interest rates in December. Anything stand out to you either from the meeting itself or as you think about a potential rate hike in December?

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Bill Barker: I think that there have been so many indications that really there's a rate hike coming, there's a rate hike coming, there's a rate hike coming. You get close enough to it and there are new indications it's coming but not yet. As you say, this was no surprise that it didn't happen today. The market had priced in a fairly low probability of an announced hike yesterday and a better-than-50% probability in December. That didn't really change. There wasn't anything monumental that came out of this. The market took a little sigh of relief that we get to go two or three more months with interest rates as low as they are today, and that has supported stocks for the moment.

Chris: Janet Yellen seemed a little miffed at the suggestion that the Federal Reserve is not an independent body. I don't know. I don't know Janet Yellen, but she seems like someone you would not want to get on her bad side. For someone who is not a particularly big person.

Bill: Right. When accusations are thrown out by people who, for whatever reason, have people paying attention to what they say ... I'd just like to point out based on really no knowledge about what I'm talking about at all, that this other person is violating their ethical obligations. Just putting that out there. It's obvious. Just stating it.

Chris: Many people are saying this.

Bill: Why not respond to that and say, by the way, not true. Just since my name was invoked without any knowledge of what my job requires and why I do what I do, I do it honestly, just for the record.

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