It has been so long since the Federal Reserve last raised interest rates that few people probably remember when it last happened: it was June 2006. The odds of a rate increase in December of 2015 are very high, but the increase will be very low: fractions of a percent. What will be the effects on bonds when it happens? Michael Pollock, writing for the Wall Street Journal, points out that even if the Fed raises rates gradually, higher short-term rates will eventually ripple through the markets and affect a wide range of financial products, but the impacts will be uneven.
Some borrowing costs are likely to rise closely in sync with short-term rates, but others won’t, And people who depend on interest income might not benefit from rising rates for months, and/or years. A sudden move from zero to 4% would be more than a four hundred percent shift and would shut down the financial system—which is still highly leveraged with derivatives- just as surely as the events of 2008 toppled the derivatives market. Steve and Sinclair examine the outcomes.
In the Q & A Segment, experienced real estate attorney Christopher McNichol of Gust Rosenfeld joins the A-Team to review the differences between options to buy real estate and first rights of refusal. He also makes a strong recommendation for anyone tying up a property with an option.