Week In Review
This week the Fed released the minutes from the October FOMC meeting. The minutes show a growing consensus that rate cuts made in July, September and October should be enough to stabilize the U.S. economy. In fact, most participants judged that after October’s rate cut monetary policy would be “well calibrated to support the outlook of moderate growth.” However, the minutes note that policy is not on a “preset course” and that the committee will monitor the effects of its recent actions to assess the appropriate path going forward.
Although the Fed remains willing to act should economic conditions worsen, it appears comfortable with a pause in further rate reductions in the near term.
The U.S. House and Senate almost unanimously passed a bill supporting the Hong Kong protesters and creating an annual review process for Hong Kong’s separate (from China) trade status with the U.S. based on whether or not China is honoring its commitments to a separate system of government for Hong Kong. President Trump has said that he will sign the bill.
The Phase 1 trade negotiations are continuing with both optimistic and pessimistic messages coming from both sides. The Hong Kong bill will likely be a point of contention with the Chinese government, but it is really just one more moving part or issue to resolve as part of the deal.