Charles Plosser: “I Think They Probably Will” Raise Rates


Former Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Maria Bartiromo about whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates tomorrow. Plosser said “I think they probably will.  I mean, they’ve sent a pretty strong signal” and that “it would be pretty awkward for them to back out of it now.”

Charles Plosser on whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates tomorrow:

“Yes, I think they probably will.  I mean, they’ve sent a pretty strong signal.  It would be pretty awkward for them to back out of it now, although they’ve surprised us in the past and they tend to get cold feet sometimes.  But I don’t see anything on the horizon that’s going to suggest that they’ve got an excuse not to go ahead with the plans that they’ve signaled pretty strongly.”

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Charles Plosser on whether he worries if they raise rates they may have to cut in a couple of months:

“I don’t think so… Look, a quarter of a point interest rate increase by the Fed is not determinative for anything terribly important for the economy as a whole.  And I think if something were to happen in the future, a shock or some sort of problem that gave rise to the economy weakening further, they’ll just adjust, but it won’t be because of the rate increase, it’ll be something else that drives the economy down, I think. And they shouldn’t really be afraid of the fact that if they go up and something bad happens and they have to reduce rates again, so be it.  That’s what the Fed does all the time.  So, what’s so bad about that?  It’s going to be something else, not what the fed does.”

Charles Plosser on what he worries about:

“Well, I mean, clearly, we read about them in the newspaper every day.  You know, it’s China, it’s the Middle East.  It’s oil, it’s commodities.  I mean, there’s lots of things that — there are always things that can’t happen.  But I don’t think there’s anything looming on the horizon that’s so devastating that the economy can’t handle it.”

Charles Plosser on what kind of 2016 he’s looking for:

“I’m looking for another year, probably similar to what we had in 2015.  I think we’ll get growth, probably around 2.5 percent, maybe 3 percent, depending how things play out.  And I think that’s perfectly acceptable.  That’s kind of normal.  It’s even a little bit above trend.  So I think the economy is doing pretty well.  We shouldn’t expect a lot more, but I also think the forecast, I mean, there are always risks, but I think the forecast is pretty solid and the U.S. is on pretty good fundamentals, at least right now.”