Friday, December 18, 2015

The Fed Awakens

Today was opening day for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I went to see it and it was pretty awesome. Lots of spaceships were shooting lasers at each other and blowing up stuff. Stormtroopers were running around and some other people were swinging lightsabers. It was all really cool. In the real world, the Federal Reserve raised its target interest rate range by 25 basis points. That turned out to be really cool too.

It would be nice if the Fed could raise interest rates all the way to a more normal level, like to 6.00%. That would be the required shock therapy to kill off uneconomic business projects by pricing them out of the range of reasonably available capital. The Fed continues to aid and abet the mispricing of capital by keeping interest rates much lower than their historical norms.

Future investors will thank the Fed once asset prices crash if only the Fed cared about true normalization. US equity markets don't care much for normalization and they yawned in response to the Fed's move. A truly normal interest rate move would act like the planet-sized superweapons we see in the Star Wars universe by blowing up bad investments. That's exactly what the galaxy could use right about now. I normally favor the light side of the Force. The Fed's refusal to truly normalize rates keeps fundamental analysts like me in the dark about intrinsic valuations.