FEAR NOT: Here's the proof that interest rate hikes won't hurt the economy or stocks

A lot of people are afraid that the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve are going to start raising interest rates. That could hurt investments, and the economy, by making money more expensive to borrow.

But Deutsche Bank analysts Jim Reid, Nick Burns, and Seb Baker published an epic note to investors a couple of days ago which contains a set of reassuring charts. They looked at what happened to GDP, stocks, bonds, and credit spreads before and after the fed starts raising rates.

They found that economic growth chugs along nicely:

After the first hike, stocks continue to go up. Bond yields tend to increase, too, as people continue to sell down their bonds (presumably in favour of stocks). But the spread between the yield on treasuries and corporate debt continues to decline:

After the last hike — when the fed reverses and starts lowering rates again, stocks still put on gains for up to three years. Yields on bonds go into decline, however, presumably as people buy them in a flight to safety. The spread between treasuries and corporate debt gets wider.

Bottom line: If you’re worried that rate hikes will tank the economy or hurt your stocks, go back to sleep. Everything should be fine. (It’s bonds and credit spreads that are really sensitive to the fed.)

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