Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog has some of the best analysis of today’s published minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee.


Traditionally, when the Fed makes an interest-rate announcement, it doesn’t indicate how long it expects rates to stay at that level, which creates some degree of uncertainty in the market. So if it quietly intends to keep rates low, some individuals or companies who would have invested will sit on their cash because they’re not sure the rates will be low. Now the Fed will include projections about the “expected target federal funds rate in the fourth quarter of the current year and the next few calendar years, and over the longer run,” according to notes from its Dec 13. meeting released by the Federal Open Market Committee on Tuesday. It will also include projections about “the likely timing of the first increase in the target rate given their projections of future economic conditions.” That will make it easier for those individuals and companies to make their investment decisions.

This is big for a number of reasons. One of which is that the Fed board seems to be betting that its openness to the market speculators will calm any possible reactions. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.