Cobb County business people comment on interest rate

Roger Tutterow

KENNESAW, Ga. (Sep 17, 2015) — The eyes of the nation turn from last night’s GOP debate to today’s announcement by the Federal Reserve regarding interest rates. We asked Cobb County business people what they expect the Fed will do, what should be done and what effect it will have on Cobb.

Margie Medlin, Realtor RE/MAX PURE Q: What decision on interest rates will the Fed announce today? A: There seems to be a consensus that the Federal Reserve will raise rates. Obviously, the size of the increase is anyone’s guess. But, probably small. Maybe a quarter of 1 percent.

Q: In your opinion, what should they do? A: Honestly, I think the Quantitative Easing the Fed has been doing has distorted normal market forces. I think the Fed should probably let the market do what it will. In short, they should probably let rates rise.

Q: What is the most visible impact an interest rate hike will have in Cobb County? A: I doubt that a minor increase in rates will make much difference here in Cobb County. It may encourage some folks on the fence to go ahead and buy a home. But probably not appreciably.

Roger Tutterow, Professor and economist Kennesaw State University Q: What decision on interest rates will the Fed announce today? A: For the first time in almost eight years, it’s almost coin flip. I fully expect that the Fed will hike rates before the end of 2015, the battle is over at which meeting. With measured inflation low and concern over volatile equities market, there is a good case that they will pass today. Whenever they start raising rates, it will be gradual and rates will stay well below historical norms well through 2016.

Q: In your opinion, what should they do? A: The Fed should go ahead and raise rates today. I don’t expect them to do this, but I’d raise the Federal Funds Rate to 0.75 percent and hint that, absence an exogenous shock, they are done for the year.

Q: What is the most visible impact an interest rate hike will have in Cobb County? A: Savers will get modestly higher yield on deposit accounts. The effect of a modest increase in short-term interest should have little effect on the housing market as most mortgage holders are locked with fixed-rate mortgages. There may be a few businesses with variable rate lines of credit that will be impacted, but with rates this low, it should not be problematic.

J. Dan Oliver, Chairman of the Board and CEO Vinings Bank Q: What decision on interest rates will the Fed announce today? A: I believe the decision by the FOMC is likely a 50/50 possibility with regard to a rate hike or hold. With that said, I do think there will be a decision to raise rates by a quarter of a percent either in September or October.

Q: In your opinion, what should they do? A: I do believe they should increase rates by a small amount, such as a quarter percent, to remove the specter of uncertainty from the markets.

Q: What is the most visible impact an interest rate hike will have in Cobb County? A: The impact, if any, will be virtually imperceptible in Cobb County. Savers may find a slightly more beneficial environment for their funds and borrowers will experience little change.

Mark Beal, Personal Wealth Advisor Baer Wealth Management Q: What decision on interest rates will the Fed announce today? A: While it is impossible to predict due to the many factors involved both domestically and globally, I believe the Fed will again delay raising rates.

Q: In your opinion, what should they do? A: There are strong arguments on both sides, but it is time for the Fed to begin the process of slowly normalizing interest rates.

Q:What is the most visible impact an interest rate hike will have in Cobb County? A: Anyone with money in the market or savings accounts, or looking for mortgages or car loans will be impacted. Put simply, it will get a little better for savers and a little harder for borrowers.

-The Marietta Daily Journal

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