A Thought on Interest Rates

The Wall Street Journal is speculating on when the Fed might start lowering its benchmark interest rates, speculating further that the Fed might be worrying about whether it’s time and whether leaving its rates where they are might spark a recession. (I was one of those worrying about a recession starting up over the last year or year-and-a-half, and still, but maybe the Fed’s worry is as overblown as mine.)

Early in the article, the WSJ has this:

The central bank will keep its benchmark interest-rate target at a range of 5.25% to 5.5%, a 23-year high….

I’m not sure that’s a useful baseline. The first 20, or so, years of that period are when the Fed was artificially suppressing interest rates.

5.25%-5.5% benchmark rates actually are, long-term, reasonably consistent with a 2% inflation rate.

Maybe it’s time for the Fed to cry “Enough” and go back to the sidelines. Nothing more is needed; let the market fluctuate as it will. Rates already are within the historical fluctuation range that didn’t need Fed interference intervention.

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