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The markets are, once again, playing chicken with the Federal Reserve. The central bank will next week almost certainly cave in and not raise interest rates, as it has done all year. The markets always have the upper hand since Fed policies are about the price of financial assets and only indirectly and secondarily – if at all – about the real economy.Investors' expectations that the Fed's Open Market Committee will move next week have collapsed to below 20 per cent, according to interest-rate futures, while the chances of the central bank moving in December have sunk below 50 per cent.Indeed, some pundits note that the Fed is under pressure to alter a public image some have that the central bank is the instrument of the one per cent – the wealthiest in the country.The workers in whose name the Fed continues its policies have been less lucky.
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