Friday, August 16, 2013

Advance Draft of Next FOMC Statement

"If employment & prices are strong,
We can give up QE before long,
So we're tapering it,
But just by a bit,
In case we turn out to be wrong."

The drumbeat of tapering talk continues, with various members of the Fed Open Market Committee making public comments that suggest the question isn't "if", or even "when", but "how".  Expectations have begun to coalesce around the next FOMC meeting on September 17-18, in part because it is seen as advisable to remove the uncertainty surrounding the unwinding of QE before the White House announces the President's nominee to succeed Chairman Ben Bernanke. The current Chairman's term ends on January 31. 

Comments yesterday by James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, put the spotlight on the tactics the Fed might employ when starting down the long, unwinding road: "A larger move would be interpreted as a faster pace of reduction," he said, while "a smaller move would be considered a more hedged bet, a slower rate of reduction in purchases." In other words, the FOMC could test the waters before making a big commitment to unwinding its extraordinary monetary stimulus. 

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