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The Fed Needs to Stop Talking

In May 2009, a field of 19 horses took to the track at the Kentucky Derby. Friesan Fire, who had come off three consecutive and impressive wins in the previous four months, was the runaway favorite. He placed 18th. Bettors who were certain of the outcome were left tearing up losing tickets and cursing the horse.

Just about a month from now, I expect we're gonna hear a lot more cursing from the bettors.

This time it won't be a horse that stirs their ire, but a Federal Reserve meeting.

See, Wall Street sees a 75% chance that the Fed will finally raise interest rates in September. It would be the first such rate hike in nearly a decade. The Fed for the last few years has been alluding to the likelihood that a rate hike is coming at some point, and Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said it could be before the end of the year — assuming the economic data indicate the economy is on stable footing.

My bet is that the bettors are wrong.

The Fed won't raise rates next month. And it might not raise them this year.

Unless you, too, are a gambler, there's no safe way to play the Fed's September meeting.

If the Fed does act, then the dollar rallies strongly, while gold and commodities fall. Bonds fall. The stock market — well, that's a guess at best.

If the Fed, as I suspect, does not act, the dollar falls, while gold and commodities rally. Bonds rally. The stock market — well, that's a guess at best.

Thus, today's dispatch isn't aimed at telling you how to invest based on what the Fed is likely to do. It's to prepare you for what the Fed's action...