A reading of New York-area manufacturing conditions fell swiftly and brutally in August, one that could make the likelihood of an interest-rate hike next month — or even this year — more remote.
The Empire State general business conditions index nose-dived to a reading of negative 14.9, from positive 3.9 in July, marking the worst level since April 2009, the New York Fed said. The index, on a scale where any positive number indicates improving conditions, was far worse than the positive 4.5 forecast in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll. Continue reading
Perhaps the Fed is preparing for a crisis of its own doing and a ‘natural disaster’ is a scapegoat.
Although, and admittedly to their credit, a natural disaster is looming as Mt. Saint Hellens is ready to blow at any moment and a mega earthquake is poised to sink half of California into the Pacific. The New Madrid Fault line is also a great concern at the moment. However, normally in the real world, it’s rather difficult and borderline asinine to try and make a connection between Fed rate hikes and natural disasters.
As the article notes, cyber attacks likely will also play a role in a new crisis.
(Reuters) – The New York branch of the U.S. Federal Reserve, wary that a natural disaster or other eventuality could shut down its market operations as it approaches an interest rate hike, has added staff and bulked up its satellite office in Chicago.
Some market technicians have transferred from New York and others were hired at the office housed in the Chicago Fed, according to several people familiar with the build-out that began about two years ago, after Hurricane Sandy struck Manhattan. Continue reading