Prime Rate

also known as the Fed, National or United States Prime Rate,
from the interest-rate specialists at www.FedPrimeRate.comSM

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Odds On A 50 Basis Point Cut for January 30 Hit 90% On Bernanke Comments

Prime Rate Forecast - Predictions - www.FedPrimeRate.com
Prime Rate Forecast - Predictions
The implied odds that the Fed will opt for an aggressive 50 basis point (0.50 percentage point) cut on January 30 jumped to 90% after the fed funds futures market had a chance to digest comments made by Fed boss Ben Bernanke this morning. Here's a clip from Bernanke's speech at the Women in Housing and Finance / Exchequer Club Joint Luncheon in Washington, D.C.:

"...Monetary policy has responded proactively to evolving conditions. As you know, the Committee cut its target for the federal funds rate by 50 basis points at its September meeting and by 25 basis points each at the October and December meetings. In total, therefore, we have brought the funds rate down by a percentage point from its level just before financial strains emerged. The Federal Reserve took these actions to help offset the restraint imposed by the tightening of credit conditions and the weakening of the housing market. However, in light of recent changes in the outlook for and the risks to growth, additional policy easing may well be necessary. The Committee will, of course, be carefully evaluating incoming information bearing on the economic outlook. Based on that evaluation, and consistent with our dual mandate, we stand ready to take substantive additional action as needed to support growth and to provide adequate insurance against downside risks..."

The Latest Odds

As of right now, the investors who trade in fed funds futures at the Chicago Board of Trade have odds at 100% (as implied by current pricing on contracts) that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will vote to lower the benchmark Federal Funds Target Rate by at least 25 basis points (0.25 percentage point) at the January 30TH, 2007 monetary policy meeting.


Summary of the Latest Prime Rate Forecast:
  • Current odds that the Prime Rate will be cut by at least 25 basis points at the January 30TH FOMC monetary policy meeting: 100% (certain)
  • NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Federal Funds Target Rate + 3)

The odds related to federal-funds futures contracts -- widely accepted as the best predictor of where the FOMC will take the benchmark Fed Funds Target Rate -- are constantly changing, so stay tuned for the latest odds.

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