COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | GEORGE CHAMBERLIN

George Chamberlin's Money in the Morning

Critics of the Federal Reserve have claimed for the past few years that the low interest-rate policy -- the Fed funds rate lingers near zero -- has benefited the one-percenters who have all their money in the stock market and have reaped the benefits of soaring share prices. Well, trading on Thursday and Friday, after the Fed decided to keep rates low, certainly didn't do anything to benefit investors, large or small. From the moment Janet Yellen began her press conference defending the decision to postpone a rate hike, the markets went into a free fall, dropping 160 points on Thursday and another 290 points on Friday.

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Interestingly, the consensus has been shares will decline when the Fed finally begin hiking. However, the decision not to change rates proved to be viewed as a lack of leadership and not well received. The notion the Fed will know a lot more about the U.S. and global economies when they meet in late October seems rather silly. It continues to look like the Fed will remain cautious until well into 2016 unless they cave into pressure from many different directions.

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Sam Stovall of S&P Capital IQ offers a point of view perhaps shared by many others when he asked in this morning's briefing, "Investors again can't help but wonder of the Fed's reluctance to recalibrate is cloaking a much more serious concern." He added that the recession is not a condition he believes is likely and neither the U.S. or global economies are "on the verge of collapse."

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In other news, the National Association of Realtors reported existing home sales in August fell 4.8 percent, the first decline in four months. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said sales activity was down "as the persistent summer theme of tight inventory levels likely deterred some buyers." And, in a comment you won't expect from the spokesman of a Realtors group, Yun added, "The good news for the housing market is that price appreciation the last two months has started to moderate from the unhealthier rate of growth seen earlier this year." Wow, it is very rare you hear the terms "price appreciation" and "unhealthier" in the same sentence.

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That unhealthy price appreciation the NAR discussed contributed to an increase in household net wealth during the second quarter of 2015. The Federal Reserve reported Friday the wealth of American household rose to an all-time high of $85.7 trillion as the increase in home values more than offset declines in the stock market. Net worth is calculated by taking the value of all assets and subtracting liabilities. In other words, if we sold every asset we as households own and paid off all the debt we would be left with nearly $86 trillion. Not too shabby.

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After two weeks of the NFL season am I the only one who is bored silly by the constant use of just two plays in almost every drive: a running back off a tackle or a flair pass to a receiver out of the backfield? Both plays probably average a net two or three yards, but the over-cautious coaches in the league are playing it safe.

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