cowardly-lionThe drama over “When will the Fed raise interest rates?” has dragged on almost as long as that perennial question, “When will the Beatles get back together?”  December would be a good time for the Fed to act, but as I argue in this recent appearance on Bloomberg television, Janet Yellen and her gang should explain that the Fed is nudging rates (1/8 to 1/4 of a point) for technical money-market reasons, rather than as a specific commentary on stronger GDP growth or inflation.  The U.S. economy is meandering in the 1.5% range and inflation remains quiet.  Yet Halloween sales climbed, which suggests that pre-Christmas sales should be just good enough to quash recession fears.  It’s time to say goodbye to zero.  No doubt, zero rates fueled car buyers to speed off dealers’ lots and revived a dead housing sector.  But they have also forced seniors and other savers into riskier asset classes.  Yellen should take the brave — and cowardly — rate.  Nudge rates 1/8 of a point on December 16 and then hop on a cheap flight to an isolated vacation isle with bad cell service.

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