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Tech Coast Angels Invested $13.5 Million into Startup Ecosystem in 2015

Southern California Angel Network Realizes Fourth Highest Investment Total in its 19-Year History

IRVINE, Calif. – February 29, 2016 – Tech Coast Angels (TCA) invested $13.5 million in a total of 58 companies in a diverse mix of industries in 2015. In addition to the $13.5 million of direct investment by TCA or its ACE Fund, the angel network also helped companies in its portfolio obtain $82 million through additional funding sources in 2015.

The angel network’s total direct investment for the year was slightly off its record $16.7 million year in 2014, consistent with the market slowdown in investments towards the end of 2015. The only other years in which TCA exceeded 2015’s total for investments were in 1999 ($16.3 million) and 2013 ($14.9 million).  Investment in new companies was 35% of the total last year, compared to 41% in 2014 and 63% in 2013.  Please see TCA’s 2015 year-end report for further details, a summarization of 2015, the outlook for 2016, and charts that segment TCA’s investments by industry.

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“Notwithstanding the turmoil in financial markets in the latter part of the year, our numbers for 2015 reflect our confidence in adding value to innovative, early-stage companies—as well as expansion investments to our existing portfolio companies,” said TCA Chairman, John Harbison.  “Tech Coast Angels remains one of the largest and most influential angel networks because of our commitment to solid and collaborative relationships within the investment and entrepreneurial communities.”

The angel network also had six exits in 2015, including three successful IPOs (Mindbody, CytomX and CRISI Medical Systems) and three acquisitions (Olive Medical, Thermark and Wispry). This brings the total exits since the network’s inception in 1997 to 60.

“Early-stage investing is often a long-term commitment, and Tech Coast Angels members remain steadfast in providing support, both financially and experientially, to early-stage, high-growth companies—especially those in Southern California,” continued Mr. Harbison. “We are looking forward to continuing our success in 2016 with our existing portfolio companies and by encouraging new young companies with great ideas.”

 

About Tech Coast Angels:

Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest angel investment groups in the US.  The group comprises over 300 angel members with experience spanning all aspects of successful leadership in almost every industry in five networks that encompass Southern California.  TCA is the leader in providing funding, guidance, mentorship and leadership experience to early-stage, high-growth, exciting companies in Southern California.  CB Insights has ranked TCA ahead of all other angel groups as the strongest network in the country.

Since its founding in 1997, Tech Coast Angels have invested over $176 million in more than 300 companies and have helped attract more than $1.5 billion in additional capital/follow-on rounds, mostly from venture capital firms. For more information, please visit www.techcoastangels.com.

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A Fast Analysis On Rapid Plans Of Having A Mortgage

cropped-cropped-budgeting1.jpgIf you want additional funds and also you have a very good house, you may have the opportunity to obtain upon your house having a vacation home loan.

A second mortgage loan is the one other reputation for a house equity lending. The total amount that may be acquired on the vacation home loan is generally based on the excellence among your house’s present value and your original mortgage principal. This type of loan utilizes your home’s equity to provide funds for home repair works, school tuition, debt unification as well as other financial needs. For example, for those who have a kid which is going to disappear to school and also you require money for that tuition, a second mortgage would you help you manage your children’s knowledge.

If you want to create home repair works or renovate your residence, another mortgage loan could give you the funds you need to finish the task. It’s a great way to tap the possession worth of your house to fulfill your financial commitment in addition to budget needs, as well as assists you remain obvious of taking on high interest personal debt like charge cards.  second Mortgage loan Perks  You will find some innate perks to some second mortgage loan. To begin with, since a second mortgage is dependent on your residence’s equity, like a house owner, you will find the funds easily available.

A second mortgage is really a protected funding too out of the box generally simpler to acquire in comparison to numerous other kinds of financings.  Also, the fervour compensated on the vacation home mortgage is usually tax deductible. Not every financing interest might be subtracted out of your yearly taxes. Having a second mortgage you can easily take away the fervour you have to pay in your vacation home loan out of your tax obligations.  second Mortgage loan Disadvantages  You will find some disadvantages associated with a second mortgage you need to recognize. To begin with, since the second mortgage has been according to your house’s equity, you’re placing your home at risk. Should you skip on obligations, the financial institution could remove your residence. Likewise, interest levels could be over a first mortgage, particularly for those who have a lower credit rating.

A minimal credit history consistently influences the interest levels of the financing as well as the quantity you could obtain.  How to get a second Mortgage  For those who have really determined that the second mortgage may be the response to your financial demands, you need to perform a handful of points. Make sure the reason you are obtaining another mortgage loan may be worth acquiring versus your home. For instance, when the only reason you are obtaining a second mortgage is to get a brand-new motorbike, and you also currently have 2, you have to think if completion outcome is worth acquiring another mortgage. Likewise, you can purchase your home examined.

A property assessment will definitely setup the present market cost of the residence as well as function as the value utilized to recognize the more knowledge about your second mortgage. Following the evaluation, you need to choose a lender. Make contact with the borrowed funds provider whom you employed for your initial mortgage loan to see if they are a great source for any second mortgage. Likewise use the internet for second mortgage loan companies in addition to assets. You never know where you’ll uncover the very best cost on the vacation home loan. And lastly, once you have really compared lenders in addition to made a decision that the vacation home mortgage is easily the most effective choice, pick your lender as well as maintain your obligations.

Keep in mind, considering that you are acquiring upon your home having a second mortgage, you’re putting your residence at risk.  Another mortgage is really a sensible means to fix getting funds for school tuition, house maintenance and repairs and remodelings, as well as holidays and cars. However prior to going out and obtain another mortgage loan, you have to assess the perks in addition to disadvantages of the second mortgage, in addition to establish if the reason behind obtaining the first is worth borrowing upon your home. Compare Mortgage Quotes On the internet and Uncover Just how much You Could Lay Aside. All of your mortgage questions taken care of immediately. Check us out today! http://homeloanlowrate.com

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The US deficit is shrinking, but better look quick

 Rising rates will hurt progress on federal deficits

But with interest rates expected to start rising soon, the good news is only temporary.

The level of government overspending-usually referred to as the budget deficit-fell by nearly a third during the fiscal year that ended last month, mostly because revenues grew a lot faster than spending, according to a Congressional Budget Office report on Wednesday.

The Treasury collected a little over $3 trillion-nearly 9 percent more than it did a year ago-while spending rose just 1.4 percent to $3.5 trillion, according to the CBO.

That shrank the deficit to $486 billion for the latest year-about $195 billion less than the budget gap in fiscal 2013.

Higher discretionary spending-up $44 billion-was fueled largely by the cost of expanding health-care coverage. And the total paid out in Social Security checks was $37 billion more than last year. Those spending increases were offset by a $30 billion cut in spending by the Defense Department and a $24 billion drop in jobless benefits.

Read More Fed’s Kocherlakota: ‘inappropriate’ to raise rates

The improved job market also helped the government collect more money than expected. That’s because the expanding pool of jobs boosted overall wages, generating more tax revenue for the government.

“Growth in wages and salaries explains most of the increase in withheld receipts, but almost one-third of it stemmed from changes in law,” the CBO said, citing an increase in payroll tax rates that pushed up withholding.

Higher corporate profits also boosted corporate taxes up $48 billion. The Federal Reserve’s massive bond buying also generating a pile of interest on those bonds, which the Fed turns over to the Treasury. That added another $23 billion to Uncle Sam’s coffers-about 31 percent more than last year.

But interest rates are a double-edged sword for the government; the Treasury also has to pay interest to holders of nearly $18 billion in U.S. debt. Since the Fed began engineering super-low rates following the 2008 financial collapse, the Treasury has been getting a break on those payments. Think of it like a low teaser rate on your credit card.

Those low rates are expected to start rising next year, as the Federal Reserve phases out its bond buying program and allow rates to rise to more normal levels.

Read More ‘Weak and uneven’: IMF cuts global growth forecast

That’s one reason the recent progress on trimming the deficit will likely be short-lived, according to economists at Wells Fargo Securities.

They note that spending cuts, known as in Washington-speak as “budget sequestration” are set to expire in 2016. And rising interest rates will boost Treasury payments to holders of U.S. debt.

“Even with only modest increases in short-term interest rates, the year-over-year rise in interest expenses is already materializing,” the Wells Fargo economists noted.

Read More ‘Enormous’ rise in global inequality: OECD

They figure on rates rising a little higher than the CBO estimates, an note that Congress is likely to extend tax breaks that could also cut into revenues.

“Interest expenses will begin to play a much more dominate role in the federal budget,” they said. “All of these factors set up growing fiscal pressures in the later part of this decade.”

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Home Depot breach bigger than Target at 56 million cards

A closeup of an electronic payment station at a Home Depot store in Daly CityA closeup of an electronic payment station is shown at a Home Depot store in Daly City, California, in this February 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

BOSTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Home Depot Inc (HD.N) Thursday said some 56 million payment cards were likely compromised in a cyberattack at its stores, suggesting the hacking attack at the home improvement chain was larger than last year’s unprecedented breach at Target Corp (TGT.N).

Home Depot, in providing the first clues to how much the breach would cost, said that so far it has estimated costs of $62 million. But it indicated that costs could reach much higher.

It will take months to determine the full scope of the fraud, which affected Home Depot stores in both the United States and Canada and ran from April to September.

Retailer Target incurred costs of $148 million in its second fiscal quarter related to its breach. Target hackers stole at least 40 million payment card numbers and 70 million other pieces of customer data.

Home Depot said that criminals used unique, custom-built software that had not been seen in previous attacks and was designed to evade detection in its most complete account of what had happened since it first disclosed the breach on Sept. 8.

The company said that the hackers’ method of entry has been closed off, the malware eliminated from its network, and that it had rolled out “enhanced encryption of payment data” to all U.S. stores.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said in a statement.

Of the estimated cost so far of $62 million, which covers such items as credit monitoring, increased call center staffing, and legal and professional services, Home Depot said it believes that $27 million of the amount will be paid for by insurers.

But the company said it has not yet estimated the impact of “probable losses” related to the possible need to reimburse banks for fraud and card replacement, as well as covering costs of lawsuits and government investigations.

“Those costs may have a material adverse effect on The Home Depot’s financial results in the fourth quarter and/or future periods,” the company said in its statement.

Wesley McGrew, an expert of retail breaches who is an assistant research professor at the department of computer science at Mississippi State University, said that Home Depot is going to be expected to bear the costs related to fraud and payment card replacement.

Banks typically seek to get retailers to cover those costs if there are any indications of shortcomings in their security.

Criminals have frequently used software that evades detection, but retailers are expected to closely monitor their networks using tools that are designed to uncover signs of a crime in progress, McGrew said.

“It’s hard to feel sorry for them when there are things they could have done to improve the security of these transactions,” McGrew said.

Hitesh Sheth, chief executive of Vectra Networks, a cybersecurity firm in San Jose, California, said Home Depot’s breach exposes a weakness, noting that the company said hackers used unique, custom-built malware.

That “essentially means the technology they are using is only designed to detect malware that has already been used in a previous attack, and that is symptomatic of the retail industry,” Sheth said.

“Retailers need to upgrade to technology that is available and detects behavior of malware that is new because these attacks are not going to stop anytime soon.”

For its fiscal year ending in February, Home Depot revised its earnings estimate to $4.54 per share from $4.52. In addition to the cost related to the breach, it said the estimate includes a pre-tax gain of about $100 million on the sale of 3.6 million common shares of HD Supply stock.

The company left its outlook for sales growth for the year at 4.8 percent.

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Prepare for liftoff: Alibaba is the ‘anti-Facebook’ IPO

Prepare for liftoff: Alibaba is the ‘anti-Facebook’ IPO

Aaron Task

Yahoo Finance

Updated from Sept. 17

The Alibaba IPO is going to be huge — in case you hadn’t already heard. But for all the focus on how this is likely to be the biggest public offering in history, there’s very little chatter about the opportunity for this to be an old-fashioned, 1990s-dot.com style blowout IPO.

Assuming the offering prices near its expected range of $66 to $68 per share, it’s not hard to imagine the stock trading well above $100 on its first day of trading Friday. You know…the type of deal that gets trader’s hearts pounding and reminds investors that the stock market is also a place where you can win big, not just lose your shirt. Expect terms like “blowout” and “spectacular” and “bubble-like” to be heard. (Full disclosure: my employer, Yahoo Inc., owns about 22.5% of Alibaba and plans to sell about 25% its stake at the offering. I personally own Yahoo shares.)

In many ways, Alibaba is the anti-Facebook IPO. Facebook, of course, struggled mightily on its first day of trading amid technical glitches and an avalanche of insider selling, closing up a mere 23 cents from its offered price of $38.

The Chinese e-commerce giant is virtually unknown to Americans. A Reuters poll this week showed 88% of people hadn’t even heard of Alibaba, much less were clamoring for a piece of the offering. Facebook, by contrast, was set up to be the first big “retail” IPO of the decade — and individual investors were scrambling to get allocation before the company’s ill-fated debut on May 18, 2012, according to press reports at the time.

For Alibaba, however, there’s no such retail interest: Alibaba Frenzy Escapes Small Investor:
Lack of Familiarity with Alibaba in U.S. Limits Interest Ahead of IPO, The WSJ reports.

Meanwhile, institutional demand for Alibaba’s offering has reportedly been intense; more than 40 firms have asked for over $1 billion in stock, according to The WSJ. Within two days of Alibaba’s global roadshow, underwriters attracted enough demand to cover the entire deal. Shortly thereafter, Alibaba upped the expected price range of the offering to o $66 to $68 from $60 to $66, originally.

In the run-up to Facebook’s IPO, institutions were already choking on stock that had been purchased in the secondary market. On the first day of trading, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley reportedly got stuck holding more than $6 billion of Facebook stock, with JPMorgan and Goldman sitting on a combined $5.6 billion worth of shares. Days before its IPO, Facebook upped the size of its IPO by 25%, or about 100 million shares; 57% of the shares sold in the IPO came from Facebook insiders.

To date, Alibaba hasn’t announced plans to up the size of its offering, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

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Alibaba's valuation vs. peers (Source: WSJ)

Alibaba’s valuation vs. peers (Source: WSJ)

Perhaps Alibaba’s underwriters — Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup — will suffer a similar fate, but there does not seem to be a frenzy of pre-IPO buying and selling of Alibaba shares, at least not in any formal (legal) way. That said, The WSJ reports that about $8 billion worth of shares owned by insiders will be freed of any “lockup” restrictions and thus available to immediately sell the IPO.

Valuation Matters

Most importantly, Alibaba is the anti-Facebook IPO because at about 24 times expected 2015 earnings, it’s valuation is cheap relative to peers and certainly conservative on an absolute basis.

According to Bloomberg:

  • Alibaba trades at 29 times analyst earnings estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31 vs. 34 times for Bidu, 37 times for Tencent Holdings and 135 times for Amazon.com.
  • Alibaba’s EBIDTA equals 59% percent of revenue, more than Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com, Baidu and Tencent, according Wedbush Securities. (By contrast, Twitter and Chinese e-retailer JD.com have negative Ebitda margins.)

At the time of its offering Facebook, traded with a trailing P/E of 107 and price-to-sales of about 26, based on figures from its final amended S-1.

Even at $100 per share, Alibaba would “only” trade with a forward P/E of 40, roughly equal to Facebook’s current valuation and vs. 168 for Amazon.

“Based on the cashflow they are generating and the growth rate, you can defend $100 relatively easily,” Henry Blodget says in the accompanying video. “It’s a high multiple [and] hundereds of things can go wrong…but given the growth trend and oppourtnity and market position, the stock could trade [at $100] and not be ridiculous.”

While offering a warning to individual investors about the dangers of buying IPOs and specific concerns about Alibaba’s governance, Blodget adds: “We’ve seen again and again, inventors are willing to overlook the hazy future and pay for growth and this thing has growth like you would not believe and growth at massive scale. A lot of big mutual and investors who’ve been starved for big, fast-growing companies” are going to be scrambling to get into Alibaba.

What Alibaba and Facebook do have in common is a complex management structure designed to maximum the power of its respective founders, Jack Ma and Mark Zuckerburg. Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall as many warnings about Zuck’s ownership ahead of the Facebook IPO as I’m hearing now about Alibaba’s.

Of course, there’s a risk if Alibaba really is the “anti-Facebook”. After falling as much as 50% from its IPO price, Facebook shares have since quadrupled. It’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish but expect Alibaba to come out of the gates at a full gallop.

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Searching for growth in Europe, clarity in China

 A huge euro logo is pictured past next to headquarters of ECB in Frankfurt

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A huge euro logo is pictured next to the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) before the bank’s monthly news conference in Frankfurt August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s struggle to avoid another recession will take center stage in the coming week in the absence of major U.S. data, as investors mull whether the ECB’s new asset-buying plan is a prelude to even more radical steps.

While data from China may give clarity on a pattern of uneven growth there, it is in Europe that the prospects for the economy are most uncertain, although a ceasefire in Ukraine could lift the mood and avoid new EU sanctions on Russia this week.

The euro zone’s fragile economic recovery came to a halt in the second quarter, in marked contrast to the United States, where the economy grew robustly. Like many of its neighbors struggling to rebound from the debt crisis, Italy slipped into recession for the third time since 2008.

EU finance ministers and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi convene on Friday in Milan, where the ECB’s latest move to help the economy and avoid deflation will be at the forefront of discussions.

The ECB stunned markets last week by cutting interest rates and announcing a plan to buy asset-backed securities from October, which Barclays described “as a clear first step into quantitative easing” – a U.S.-style bond-buying program that could help the economy but divides the central bank.

Draghi said his aim was to expand the bank’s balance sheet back to the heights reached in early 2012, which equates to a rise of around 50 percent or 1 trillion euros in new assets.

“This is going to be digested by the markets over the coming weeks,” said Thomas Harjes, an economist at Barclays.

“There’s now a 50-50 chance that the ECB will go further and announce a sovereign bond-buying program by year-end, or the beginning of 2015,” he said.

Under its statutes, the ECB is banned from buying bonds directly from governments but can find ways to purchase them from banks, for example, on the secondary market.

An inflation rate of just 0.3 percent, coupled with the lack of economic growth, has given new urgency to the bloc’s search for growth. The ECB is urging governments to also do their part and enact ambitious structural reforms.

German trade, labor and industrial data during the week should show whether the second quarter’s poor showing is part of a trend or a one-off. A euro zone confidence indicator for September will also be watched after August’s unexpected slump.

CLUES TO U.S. “NORMALISATION”

The ECB’s stimulus contrasts with developments across the Atlantic, where the U.S. Federal Reserve is gradually winding down its bond-buying program as the economy improves and is beginning to think about tighter monetary policy.

Investors have little to get their teeth into in the coming week and the biggest U.S. data will be August’s retail sales on Friday. With the jobs market lifting confidence, retail sales are seen up 0.3 percent after dropping in July.

The expected gain in the indicator’s so-called control number, which corresponds most closely with the consumer spending component of gross domestic product, would be a welcome relief after spending dropped in July, leading some economists to temper their growth forecasts.

Still, U.S. job growth slowed down sharply in August as more Americans gave up the hunt for work, giving a cautious Federal Reserve more reasons to wait a bit longer before raising rates.

The Fed’s chair, Janet Yellen, is concerned about slow wage growth, the high numbers of Americans working part-time even though they want full-time employment and a long spell of joblessness following the 2008/2009 financial crisis.

“Such weakness plays into the hands of the Fed doves,” said Rob Carnell, an economist at ING, of the August job data. “It gives Yellen more leeway to stand firm against the hawks, many of whom are calling for a change in the Fed’s language on the likely timing and scale of policy normalization.”

Normalization refers to the end of an unprecedented period of cheap money since the financial crisis. The consensus has been for a rate hike in late 2015, but economists are bringing forward their forecasts to near the middle of next year.

UNEVEN CHINESE EXPANSION

In Asia, the central banks of South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines hold monetary policy meetings this week.

Another cut in Korea after August’s 25 basis-point reduction is not expected this month, however. The monetary authority has been reluctant to cut rates more for fear that lower borrowing costs could swell the ageing society’s large household debt.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China has so far refrained from cutting interest rates, preferring instead to ease liquidity for some banks to free funds for lending. Beijing in turn has tried to ease conditions in the property market.

Data on money and credit supply during the week will give an indication about the central bank’s next moves following inconclusive data last week.

Activity in China’s vast factory sector cooled in August as foreign and domestic demand slowed, spurring new calls for more policy easing to prevent the economy from stumbling once more.

But China’s services sector rebounded in August after a drop in July, offseting factory-sector weakness and letting the government stick with its policy stance.

“The economic expansion is quite uneven, as exports accelerate, investment slows, and the real estate correction intensifies, but on balance, headline real GDP growth is probably a bit faster to the third quarter,” said Bill Adams, an economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

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Good news about jobs could mean bad news about rates

Applications for US jobless aid up modestly

FILE – In this May 16, 2014 file photo, shoppers walk past a now hiring sign at a Ross store in North Miami Beach, Fla. The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims on Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

For the past six years, any change in the Federal Reserve’s low-interest-rate policy was comfortably in the future. But developments within the next few weeks could lead to the kind of policy change many investors have been anticipating, and some have been dreading.

If the government’s next monthly jobs report — due Friday — is as strong as the last few, it could accelerate the Fed’s inevitable decision to start raising rates. And that shift could now come as early as mid-September, when the Fed’s policymaking committee meets next. “Assuming that the upcoming jobs report confirms the recent improving employment trend, the Fed will have room to potentially lay out its transition game plan,” Rick Rieder, a managing director at investing firm BlackRock, wrote recently.

Once the Fed officially shifts its policy, it won’t raise rates right away but will most likely signal   hikes are coming. Most analysts think actual hikes would occur about six months after the Fed telegraphs the move. Fed chair Janet Yellen has a press conference scheduled following the mid-September meeting, which could provide an opportunity to thoroughly explain any changes.

What will force the Fed’s hand?

So how many new jobs would it take to force the Fed’s hand? Employers created 209,000 new jobs in July, and the average during the past three months has been 245,000. That’s a robust pace of job growth that rivals the late 1990s, when a booming economy created about 260,000 jobs per month. The latest ADP report (which is considered somewhat unreliable) showed the private sector created a respectable 204,000 jobs in August. Economists are expecting the official government report due Friday to show about 230,000 new jobs. A higher number would certainly signal healthy growth that could warrant a transition to higher interest rates.

Yellen, of course, has a “dashboard” of indicators that includes much more than the number of new jobs, and she’d also want to see improvements in wages, labor-force participation and the number of people out of work for more than six months. Those metrics have generally been weak — accounting for much of the labor-market “slack” Yellen refers to frequently — but each has shown modest signs of improvement lately. If those improvements persist, it will give the Fed further incentive to raise rates.

Rieder expects the first rate hikes as early as March of next year. Others feel the first hike will come later in 2015, with the Fed waiting for more data before it concludes the job market is on its way to fully healing.

Tightening, once it begins, will most likely be very gradual, since the economy is still shaky and vulnerable to shocks. Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisors predicts that, by the end of 2016 — when employment ought to be robust and inflation around a manageable 2% — short-term rates, now essentially 0%, will be between 2.5% and 3%. By then, the “equilibrium” short-term rate — the natural market rate, absent extraordinary Fed intervention — ought to be around 3.75%. So the Fed could deliberately keep rates a full percentage point or more below where they’d otherwise be. “We expect such gradualism to be primarily motivated by the [Fed’s] strong desire to avoid disrupting financial markets and the economy,” Macroeconomic Advisers said in a recent research note.

Still, even a gradual change in Fed policy could cause turmoil in the markets. The biggest unanswered question on Wall Street right now is whether investors have adjusted to coming Fed policy changes or have blithely assumed everything will remain hunky-dory, setting themselves up for an unhappy surprise. Since 2009, the Fed’s super-easy policies — including plunging rates and quantitative easing, which is set to expire in October — have coincided with soaring stock prices. Reflating the value of so-called risk assets such as stocks was a big part of the Fed’s overall plan for reviving the economy following the 2007-2009 recession. So if plunging interest rates helped inflate the value of stocks, it stands to reason that rising rates might puncture stock prices.

Higher interest rates don’t have to be bad for stocks — especially if they rise because the economy is getting stronger, which obviously ought to be good for corporate profits. And stocks have held up surprisingly well as quantitative easing draws to a close and the day of short-term rate hikes nears. But that might be due to a short-term focus by traders and investors who don’t want to think too hard about the future. They can’t put it off much longer.

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