Yes, my second-favorite recurring headline features a question mark this morning, based on this item:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard predicted the central bank will raise interest rates starting in the first quarter of 2015, sooner than most of his colleagues think, as unemployment falls and inflation quickens.
Asked about his forecast for the timing of the first interest-rate increase since 2006, he said: “I’ve left mine at the end of the first quarter of next year.”
Yesterday I wrote that the idea of us entering a recession at a time when we already have record underemployment, record food stamp dependency, millions of underwater and defaulted mortgages, and record public debts and massive deficits.
But if Bullard is right, we’re not far from testing the waters, just a few months away from ending the taper and jacking up interest rates. There’s a pucker factor going into this I can’t — won’t! — describe.