When you get to a fork in the road…take it!
The title of this week’s post comes from a quote from the dearly departed baseball legend Lawrence “Yogi” Berra. Apparently, Yogi spun that gem of a line when giving a friend directions to his house in New Jersey. However, those “directions” might as well have come from the Fed last week. The Fed’s mixed messages on their view of the U.S. economy, the state of other nations’ financial markets, and their intentions for monetary policy for the remainder of 2015 have left investors and traders as confused as Yogi’s friend must have been.
While it is true that events such as Volkswagen’s emission scandal, the continued meltdown in Brazil now spilling over into other emerging markets, and further weakness in commodities have all led to sharp increases in volatility and weaker risk markets across the board, the uncertainty and outright confusion over what the Federal Reserve is going to do or say next dominates the investment landscape.
An appropriate analogy to what investors are going through now with monetary policy uncertainty is what business owners went through while they waited for the details of Obamacare. It was tough to create a budget and commit capital to a business without knowing the details or cost of the upcoming health care legislation. This sort of paralysis is what appears to be taking hold in the business of capital markets now.continue reading »