• This Federal Open Market Committee Statement Changes Everything


    For the past two days members of the Federal Open Market Committee — which you should know about, if you don't — have been holed up in the underground bunker where they formulate their master plans for the economy. These meetings are always double top secret, because if everyone knew what the FOMC was thinking the markets would go nuts. So instead the markets go nuts because nobody knows what the FOMC is thinking. It's a subtle distinction.

    Anyway, speculation ended this afternoon when the FOMC released its latest statement. Key takeaway: grim specter of inflation? What grim specter of inflation?

    The Federal Reserve refrained from increasing its $1.75 trillion bond-purchase program, said the pace of economic contraction is slowing and predicted inflation will remain “subdued for some time.”

    “Substantial resource slack is likely to dampen cost pressures, and the Committee expects that inflation will remain subdued for some time,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement after a two-day meeting in Washington where it also kept the benchmark interest rate between zero and 0.25 percent. The rate will stay at “exceptionally low levels” for an “extended period.”

    The beauty part is, at least a dozen indignant analysts are going to use this statement as irrefutable proof that we're headed for Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation within the next two years. And the Dow Jones has already cut its morning gains. And South Carolina governor Mark Sanford admitted to an affair, although I'm not 100% sure that's related.

    But the way these "economic indicators" work, who knows?

    Tags: Federal Reserve


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