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First Ruhle: The Fed Blew Its Opportunity

Coulda ... woulda ... shoulda ... but didn't
Stephanie Ruhle

Stephanie Ruhle

Photographer: Bloomberg

The Federal Reserve has had many opportunities to raise rates over the last several years and—whether it was because of too many snowstorms, too few jobs, or not enough consumers hitting the malls—the Fed didn't raise. Why? Because it didn't have to. When the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent in 2013 and 6.5 percent in 2014, many said this was enough cause to finally raise rates off the extraordinary zero bound. The Fed kept moving the goalposts and said: not just yet.

Here we are: China is in crisis, Greece is hobbling along, and U.S. markets are operating in a liquidity vortex. Hampered by Dodd-Frank restrictions, Wall Street is unable to absorb risk and curb panicked volatility.