Offbeat Fed Odds

Some Things As Likely As The Fed Leaving Rates Unchanged Next Week

The Federal Reserve’s rate-setting committee is meeting next week.  The Fed has aggressively signaled that it would like to increase rates.  In fact, it’s been signaling that for a while.  Like a couple at the 20 minute mark of a romantic comedy, policy makers were trying to do what everyone in the audience knows they want to do, but stuff kept getting in the way.

First there was some surprisingly weak economic data.  Then there was the election.  And even as the number dissenting votes started to reach truly embarrassing levels, the Fed was forced to hold off.

That time is very, very likely to be over next week.

How likely?

Well, trading in Fed futures is currently pointing to a 97.2% that the Fed will hike rates.  That leaves just a 2.8% that the Fed will hold rates steady, odds of approximately 1-in-35.  About as likely as:

The Chance You’ll Hit A Specific Number In Roulette

There are 36 numbers on the roulette wheel, plus zero and double-zero.  So while the payout is 35-to-1, your chances of winning are actually 1-in-38 on most boards.  You’ve actually got a better chance betting on the Fed holding rates steady.  Of course, the key rule of roulette to remember is:

The Chance The Green Bay Packers Will Win The Super Bowl

They’re 6-6 going into this week, have somehow let the Lions get two games ahead of them in the NFC North standings, their defense has been attrocious lately and this season’s NFL coverage has been bedazzled by “What’s Wrong With Aaron Rogers” stories.  Still, this one doesn’t sound that outlandish.

Let’s try this one:

The Chance the Kansas City Royals Will Win The World Series. Or The Chance The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Win The World Series

Kansas City already won their decades-of-awfulness-ending championship a few years ago, so the fact that they might be on the downslope of their time as contenders isn’t too upsetting for people outside of Missouri or Kansas.  But the poor Pirates.  Losing three straight wild card play-in games and now there’s talk they might be ready to trade face-of-the-franchise Andrew McCutchen.

By the way, the top four contenders for an MLB championship in 2017 are the Chicago Cubs, the Boston Red Sox, the Cleveland Indians and the Houston Astros.  This would be absolutely baffling for someone just waking up from a Rip Van Winkle-style nap, whose previous experience of those teams was made up of players like Tuffy Rhodes, Phil Plantier, Eric “Cool Breeze” Yelding and Roger Dorn.

The Chance That If You Are A U.S. Senator, You Are Either A Black Man Or A Woman From North Dakota

There are 100 members of the U.S. Senate.  Two of them are black men, Cory Booker and Tim Scott.  One, Heidi Heitkamp, is a woman from North Dakota.  Together they make up 3% of the Senate, which is slightly higher than the chance that the Fed will hold interest rates next week.

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