NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday afternoon that it has decided to leave interest rates unchanged. The market is "strongly anticipating" a rate hike at the Fed's December meeting, but the agency gave no direct indication that it would do so, CNBC reports.
"The committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement.
Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund Portfolio Manager Bill Gross joined CNBC's "Power Lunch" on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the decision.
"It's really not about the Fed. I think markets know, bond investors know that we're looking at normalization, but at a very slow pace, perhaps 25 basis points per year," he said.
The nearly 0% interest rates combined with 1% to 2% real GDP growth are "lowering margins for financial companies" and leading to weaker earnings growth, Gross pointed out.
"We're in an earnings recession and have been for five quarters," he said.
Some investors say the Fed is "lurching toward irrelevancy," noted CNBC's Brian Sullivan. If that's true, "What does matter?" he asked Gross.
"The things that matter are really structural. They don't take up headlines, and they don't make for interesting conversation on TV," Gross answered.
One of those structural problems is the U.S.'s aging population, he said.
"The aging of the populace and the inability to replace them with younger and more productive workers is a critically important aspect of the economy going forward that most investors simply refuse to acknowledge, if only because it's so slow moving. It's a turtle, and nobody wants to observe a turtle," Gross claimed.