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Is the Fed going to be 'one and done?'

Some economists and interest-rate traders have suggested that any rate hike from the Federal Reserve may be a very short-lived experience.

Some have gone so far as to say that the Fed will follow the NBA rule, "one and done." That's where a player is required to complete one year of college before entering the NBA draft — and many do just that. Will the Fed follow suit and stop after just one rate hike this year?

Slam dunk basketball
Tim McGuire | Getty Images

Maybe the Fed would pause for a short while to assess the impact on the economy, markets and the value of the dollar. Or, maybe for a longer period, given the fragility of the global economy and the already noticeable, and negative, impact a stronger dollar is having on economic growth and on corporate profits.

There is a reasonable concern that normalizing interest-rate policy (i.e., raising rates) would increase the value of the dollar. That view is reinforced by the fact that the dollar (based on the US dollar currency index) had rallied 20 percent in the past year just in anticipation of a rate hike. (Though the dollar has pulled back in the past month amid worries about the first-quarter "soft patch" and weak employment growth in February.) Given the widening interest-rate differentials between the U.S. and the rest of the world, the dollar could be poised to resume its rally in the near term.

That stronger dollar has already done the Fed's work, trimming GDP growth estimates and actual GDP growth by as much as one full percentage point, according to some economists.

Further, there are fears that if the Fed were to normalize rates consistent with past efforts (the last time the Fed tightened policy, it raised rates 17 times in a row, lifting the Fed-funds rate from a then-historic low of 1 percent to 5 percent), the yield curve would flatten and growth could quickly turn negative.

Read MoreThe Fed could put the brakes on the dollar rally

Clearly the Fed has pointed out that such a move back toward normal would not be as steep, nor as protracted, as prior efforts.

But, even a saw-toothed move to raise rates over time could have the same effect on the economy, given that this recession IS different and the economy may be more vulnerable to setback from any effort to lift rates -- even on a semi-regular basis.

So the "one and done" idea is gaining credence on Wall Street.

Read MoreWhy the Fed trade reminds me of 2007, 2008: El-Erian

The interest-rate futures market is not fully pricing in that scenario, but it is pricing in more than just the "go slow" approach the Fed has promised.

Commentary by Ron Insana, a CNBC and MSNBC contributor and the author of four books on Wall Street. He also editor of "Insana's Market Intellgence," available at Marketfy.com. Follow him on Twitter @rinsana.

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