Mark My Words

I am going to make a prediction: Alan Greenspan won't be raising interest rates.

I know experts are saying by May, maybe June, he'll start ramping them up, but I don't see it.

Not that Greenspan isn't worried about inflation. But he just doesn't want to do anything stupid. And boy, he knows a little while back he did something stupid.

He's not going to tell you why he's not raising interest rates. But I will.

He knows he goofed a couple of years ago, raising interest rates so much so fast that the economy tanked. He knows, in retrospect, that was a mistake. He knows he overdid it. He knows the inflationary monster he feared at the time wasn't there. Finally, he knows he botched it.

But here's what matters.

He knows other people know that he botched it.

So now I think he's going to err on the side of caution.

Don't move too fast. Don't move too soon. Maybe, don't move at all for a good while. Maybe a really long while.

My prediction? Rates don't budge until at least the fall, if then. I know that's counter to everything you've been hearing. But hear me out. He doesn't want to look bad. He knows the market's still dicey. The Middle East dicier still. And the fragile state of the world itself the diciest of all.

Why screw around with that?

The old Alan Greenspan would be firing the guns at the slightest hint of inflation. But not the new, humbled Greenspan. He knows he just dodged a very big bullet. He's not going to want to take another one.

Mark my words.

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