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Rumors Drag Down Markets Going into Weekend

The old adage “buy on the rumor, sell on the fact” was turned on its ear today as rumors fueled the tanking of gold and silver; equities in the U.S. and Europe; and crude oil.

Lael Brainard, who is a Federal Reserve governor (a non-rotating position) is going to speak on Monday in Chicago. Brainard is one of the very quiet, deeply intellectual and deeply influential members of the FOMC, which will meet in eleven days.

Brainard is also a steadfast dove when it comes to rates. The jitters the mere announcement of her speech caused rest on the fear that she may say something that could be interpreted as vaguely hawkish. We do know that Brainard has referred to hopes that the Fed could normalize monetary policy (whatever that might mean). To us, normalized means keeping rates in line with what the Fed’s goals are and what data dictates. Nevertheless, we interpreted her remarks regarding normalization as generic rather than targeted.

What she might say on Monday is anyone’s guess, but we believe she will not say anything unsettling. Here’s why. Monday is the last day before the Federal Reserve’s statement blackout period that leads up to an FOMC meeting. Brainard, who is a champion of cheap money when necessary, is very sober and low-key.

It’s hard to believe she would rattle the markets for a full seven business days during which no one from the Fed could repudiate or expand upon her remarks.

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