DISSECTING CYCLES

The Federal Reserve yesterday kept Fed funds at 5.25%. Treading water, in other words, continues to remain the bias of choice for monetary policy. But while the central bank must pronounce a decision whenever the FOMC meets, the matter of what constitutes an enlightened and accurate price for money given the context du jour and an informed outlook is far from settled in the capital markets. The great questions of the moment center on whether or not a recession looms, and if the future will bring higher or lower core inflation. The answers are coming, but just not today. While waiting for the financial gods to speak, investors may want to review the primary forces that shape trends in the capital markets. On that score, a recent paper considers the interactions of monetary policy, economic cycles and stock market booms and busts. Your editor interviewed one of the authors, David Wheelock, an economist at the St. Louis Fed, for the December issue of Wealth Manager. For the associated observations, read on….

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