Economics and Investing:

Items from Mr. Econocobas:

Bitcoin Or Gold: Did The Alleged Bitcoin Creator Just Settle Once And For All What Is More Valuable?

David Stockman: December 16, 2015—–When The End Of The Bubble Begins

What Benefits To Savers? Banks Rush To Hike Prime Rate To 3.50%, Forget To Increase Deposit Rate

Items from Professor Preponomics:

U.S. News

All eyes are on the FED…

Fed’s Historic Liftoff and Everything After: Decision Day Guide(Bloomberg Business) “Economists and traders expect the first interest rate increase since 2006, marking the beginning of the end for the unprecedented era of easy monetary policy. The move would come at a time when a commodity slump is causing the market for high-yield bonds to gyrate, sending tremors through financial conditions indexes and spreading unease across trading desks.”

The Fed is about the Close a Momentous Chapter in Monetary Policy History (Business Insider) Why now? “…the Fed would rather avoid a situation where it has to play catch-up and tighten financial conditions too quickly in the future than take the risk of not having enough runway to lower rates later.”

Tomorrow will be a Watershed Moment for Markets (Contra Corner) But the Fed may already be solidly positioned between the rock and the hard place… “The Fed has dithered and equivocated itself right into an impossible corner. When it raises interest rates — even by 25 basis points — tomorrow, it will begin tightening right in the teeth of the next recession. The economic downturn is already gathering force throughout the world. And, in my judgment, it will hit American shores next year or shortly thereafter.”

How the Fed Rate Hike Could Affect Housing, Autos (USA Today) In the winners’ circle? Among the few rate hike winners will be the nation’s banks– specifically with regard to rates on credit cards and home equity loans.

Wall Street Risks Edging Higher, Government Warns (Washington Examiner) Will an increase in rates curb risky investment decisions as investors reach for yield? It’s an interesting question, but seems unlikely given the risk taking evidence of the past.

International News

Coming Federal Reserve Interest Rate Hike Looms Over Global Markets (Telegraph) Will the rate hike decision hold? Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid says: “If the next recession comes in the next couple of years, it’s hard to imagine rates being high enough that the Fed will be able to avoid returning to zero again with risks that a fourth round of quantitative easing will be needed.”

Personal Economics and Household Finance

How Borrowers Can Prepare for Rising Interest Rates (Wall Street Journal)