The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
from Morning Bid with David Gaffen:
With great power comes great responsibility, as a wise comic-book character once said. And so the Federal Reserve's decision this afternoon bears the weight of re-establishing credibility in its ability to shift policy in more than one direction, communicate to markets its thinking, and yet - if it raises rates - to soothe investors concerned that several more rate increases are in the offing. (The Fed has repeatedly said this isn't the case, but who knows how markets interpret things sometimes.)
The U.S. and British central banks are scrambling to be the first of the majors to raise interest rates after a long period of unprecedented monetary generosity. It won't happen immediately but both Janet Yellen, who chairs the U.S. Federal Reserve, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney say there will be a hike this year (Yellen) or around the end of the year (Carney). Might this be a bit of a rush? Not everything in the world economy is as sanguine as the U.S. and British economies purport to be.