Do It Already. We Can’t Stand Repeating the Same Conversation

Updated on

How Fed Uncertainty Creates Ripple Effects in Markets

You can only harp on the same topic so many times before it’s time to move on. Sanity demands it.

A chorus is rising among bond traders aimed at the Federal Reserve: Please, for the love of God, raise interest rates already so we have something else to talk about.

It’s clear the angst of not knowing when the Fed will act is boring into the psyches of money managers in every corner of the market.

Michael Conelius, who manages emerging-markets investments at T. Rowe Price, said Fed action might very well be a buying opportunity for many investors who have been awaiting clarity about what he called the “unknown unknowns.”

That could include a potentially overleveraged fund that collapses, a glitch amid rapid-fire trading in response to a move or an inability for the Fed to control the degree to which short-term yields rise.

The Fed will have an opportunity on Thursday to soothe the anxiety-ridden, at least temporarily. Or it could send them back to their therapists’ couches for another round of hand-wringing and damp towels.

One thing is clear: If the Fed rips the Band-Aid off this week and raises interest rates for the first time in nine years, it will shift the conversation. That will be a welcome change for many, until the inevitable:

When will the Fed do it again?