Sloan: Tune out the Fed hysteria

One of the silliest things I’ve seen in years is the obsession about what the Federal Reserve would or wouldn’t do about interest rates on Thursday.

You can see why it makes sense for business-TV networks and bloggers and supposed experts to hold forth for days and days and at high volume about the Fed. That allows them to attract more eyeballs and attention, which is what they live to do.

But it makes no sense for average retail investors, who include me, to pay attention to the endless maunderings and predictions. It also makes no sense to assume that the Fed is all-knowing and all-powerful, and that its smallest decisions have major long-term influence over the economy and the stock market. As I have written for years, that’s just not the case. Pretty much everyone involved in the Fed game knows this, but few people will say it out loud.

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Allan Sloan is a columnist for The Washington Post. He is a seven-time winner of the Loeb Award, business journalism’s highest honor. View Archive


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