I guess there’s some competition but this to me is clearly the chart of the day:

Ha, no, not really. But actually it is pretty neat:

The Federal Reserve on Friday released blank templates showing the format of the two charts it will use on January 25 to report Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) participants’ projections of the appropriate target federal funds rate. It also released a draft of an explanatory note that will accompany the projections.

The first chart, which will have shaded bars when released on January 25, will show FOMC participants’ projections for the timing of the initial increase in the target federal funds rate. The second chart, which will have dots representing policymakers’ individual projections when released on January 25, will show participants’ views of the appropriate path of the federal funds rate over the next several years and in the longer run.

Bars and dots! What’s not to like? The actual form, in its forlorn blankness, has the look of an exam you’re supposed to fill out,* and there’s this:

Please note that for purposes of this chart the responses are rounded to the nearest ¼ percent, with the exception that all values below 37.5 basis points are rounded to ¼ percent.

which seems like a weird bit of optimism these days but sure why not. The idea is charming and also, y’know, useful. The Journal says:

To date the Fed has been vague about when rate hikes might come. In statements since August, it has been saying rate hikes won’t come until mid-2013. The new disclosures will show how many people believe it will be much longer than that. … Each dot will represent an official. The identities of officials won’t be disclosed. This dot chart will help to show not only when rates might rise, but also how much, and it will show the divisions within the Fed’s policy making body about what path Fed officials want to chart.

I’m not really an obsessive Fed watcher but lots of people are and I guess this will make things more fun for them. Also it will give them a better chance to predict what will actually happen than the now-current bland policy-statement-with-vague-dissents.

It’s fun to imagine a public company doing something like this – say, instead of an earnings guidance range, releasing “here’s our CEO’s best guess on earnings, and our CFO’s, and our COO’s.” I realize that’s not practical for a lot of reasons – like, those guys are all getting their numbers from the same source – but it’s also culturally and legally unimaginable. We – and here I really mean “we”; John Carney’s impressed with your efforts, and he knows from thoughtful commenters – have talked a bit lately about the uses and abuses of projection in financial matters, particularly in the context of projections where there are internal disagreements. And whatever you think about the uncertainty of any predictions of the financial future, the two practical takeaways for securities issuers have to be (1) commit yourself as little as possible and (2) don’t show any disagreement in public.

Public companies thus try very hard to avoid any suggestion of internal disagreements on what the future holds, even if that leads to absurd results. (Footnoted finds some of that absurdity in Yahoo!’s statement on Jerry Yang’s resignation, which says that “Mr. Yang is resigning to pursue other interests, and not due to any disagreement with the Company on any matter related to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” to which they say: “We don’t know Jerry Yang and we’re certainly not experts on Yahoo, but we have read an article (or 15) about the many disagreements Yang has had over the years — with board members, investors, potential suitors, etc.”) Even when disagreements are resolved internally and never made public, if there’s any record of initial disagreement it’s got to make you nervous – because news articles and lawsuits will always look to dredge up the one dissenting email to suggest that the ultimate consensus was a fraud, not a reasoned agreement.

There are some exceptions to this rule that anything a company says has to speak with one voice. One is fairness opinions in M&A, which will often end up close to each other but not quite matching. It’s always seemed to me that the diversity of reasoned and evidenced banker views helps investors understand the merger case better than would a unified but unadorned “the company is worth $X and we got paid $Y>X” claim.

While lots of people invest based on what the Fed does, and what it says it will do later, it’s more or less above all the laws that apply to other market participants. No one will sue the Fed because its members all projected rates would stay flat in 2013 and then changed their minds. So the Fed is free to release this granular data because they’re not too committed – and they do so because they think it will be useful to the market. It’s interesting to imagine what would happen if banks and corporates could do the same.

Fed Details How It Will Release Rate Forecasts [Real Time Economics]

Press Release [FRB]

* Oh, speaking of tests, and of big news that will be released next week … guess what happens January 24? Everyone excited?

78 comments (hidden to protect delicate sensibilities)
Show all comments ↓

Comments (78)

  1. Posted by Spoiler Alert | January 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Connect the dots and your'e in for a frighteningly realistic picture of Ben Bernanke's cock.

  2. Posted by Nigel Tufnel | January 23, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    The one I use goes to 11.

  3. Posted by Guest | January 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    Interesting – looks surprisingly similar to our future revenue projections.

    – Fannie Mae Accountant

  4. Posted by Sir Freddy Goodwin | January 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    It’s fun to imagine a public company doing something like this…

    No. It's not Matt.

  5. Posted by Bristol Airport Hotels | April 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    nR6VfG Say, you got a nice blog article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  6. Posted by ex recovery system | April 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog.Much thanks again. Want more.

  7. Posted by Johor Bahru Jobs | April 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    Thank you for your blog article.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

  8. Posted by diablo edge driver for sale | April 20, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    I value the post.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  9. Posted by Someone like you | April 20, 2012 at 6:28 AM

    Very neat blog article.Really thank you! Want more.

  10. Posted by forsikring | April 20, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Thank you for your article post.Much thanks again. Cool.

  11. Posted by Zdeno Chara Jersey | April 20, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Muchos Gracias for your article. Much obliged.

  12. Posted by website design jacksonville | April 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Wow, great article post. Keep writing.

  13. Posted by birthday party ideas | April 20, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Awesome blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  14. Posted by heel pain treatment | April 20, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog article.Much thanks again. Want more.

  15. Posted by dinero on line | April 20, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

  16. Posted by private krankenversicherung vergleich | April 20, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Im obliged for the post. Keep writing.

  17. Posted by Arch windows | April 21, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Really enjoyed this blog.Really thank you! Want more.

  18. Posted by free gift card | April 21, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    I am so grateful for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  19. Posted by dark knight rises trailer | April 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I appreciate you sharing this article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  20. Posted by shark dive cape town | April 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

    Thank you for your post.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  21. Posted by hemroid bleeding | April 21, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Appreciate you sharing, great blog post.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

  22. Posted by Orthopedic Instruments Exporters | April 22, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    I absolutely adore your subject material on this website . I seem over each night and I ‘m proud to say that you obtained it!The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t disappoint me as a lot as this one. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I in fact assumed you’d have something intriguing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about some thing that you could resolve if you weren’t as well active looking for attention.

  23. Posted by Flying when pregnant 101 | April 22, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    Really appreciate you sharing this article post.Much thanks again. Want more.

  24. Posted by video game reviews PC console | April 23, 2012 at 10:51 PM

    Really appreciate you sharing this blog article.Really thank you! Want more.

  25. Posted by binary options trading | April 23, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    I value the blog article.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  26. Posted by Houston Texas Carpet Cleaning | April 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    Im obliged for the article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  27. Posted by best weight loss ideas | April 24, 2012 at 2:45 AM

    I truly appreciate this blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  28. Posted by tech reviews | April 24, 2012 at 2:56 AM

    Muchos Gracias for your article.Much thanks again. Will read on…

  29. Posted by seo reseller | April 24, 2012 at 4:57 AM

    Major thanks for the blog article.Really thank you!

  30. Posted by EB1A | April 24, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Really enjoyed this blog post.Really thank you! Really Great.

  31. Posted by loans in singapore | April 26, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    Great blog post. Great.

  32. Posted by LWRC | April 27, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    I really liked your blog.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  33. Posted by Channel Vision | April 27, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    I am so grateful for your article.Really looking forward to read more.

  34. Posted by Service Dog Vest | April 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Hey, thanks for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  35. Posted by Mobile Application Development | April 28, 2012 at 9:02 PM

    Major thanks for the blog article.Thanks Again. Want more.

  36. Posted by Custom Football Jerseys | April 29, 2012 at 12:19 AM

    I really liked your article post.Thanks Again. Want more.

  37. Posted by Small Business Crm | April 30, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Im grateful for the article. Really Great.

  38. Posted by new beetle 2012 | April 30, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Very good blog article.Thanks Again. Really Great.

  39. Posted by Reverse Email Address | May 1, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    Thanks-a-mundo for the blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

  40. Posted by oem software | May 2, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    6dhnkq Wow, great blog post. Fantastic.

  41. Posted by oem software | May 2, 2012 at 4:10 AM

    if7vrx I am so grateful for your article post.Really thank you! Will read on…

  42. Posted by direct email marketing software reviews | May 3, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    I’m also commenting to let you know of the brilliant experience my cousin’s daughter went through checking your web site. She came to find many things, not to mention what it is like to possess a marvelous giving heart to have many more quite simply fully grasp selected tortuous topics. You actually exceeded our expectations. Thanks for imparting these productive, safe, revealing and easy tips about that topic to Tanya.

  43. Posted by causes of erectile dysfunction in young men | May 3, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    A big thank you for your article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

  44. Posted by teaching jobs in Asia | May 3, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    Hey, thanks for the article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  45. Posted by red snapper recipes | May 4, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Im obliged for the blog.Much thanks again. Want more.

  46. Posted by submitwebsitelink | May 4, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Major thanks for the blog article.Thanks Again. Will read on…

  47. Posted by free star wars games | May 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Thanks again for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

  48. Posted by Quotation Software | May 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    Great, thanks for sharing this blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

  49. Posted by meaningful beauty | May 9, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Major thanks for the blog article.Thanks Again. Will read on…

  50. Posted by visit website | May 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Very good article. Much obliged.

  51. Posted by Dental Curing Light | May 29, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    When it arrives to health care furniture, it's vital that you possess products that's produced toward greatest needs of wellbeing and cleanliness to make certain your individuals are nicely supplied for. LR.

  52. Posted by Temp Accommodation | June 27, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    Hi ! Thanks for the informative post about about dreams onto chart . Looking forward to your future blog posts! Cheers

  53. Posted by Aubrey Romesburg | August 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    worth it to read i will book marked the extremely next time for the present time continue the outstanding carry out.

  54. Posted by Carita Farnum | August 31, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    It’ll be great worth inside your readers as you allow these

  55. Posted by Cherri Rieben | September 3, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Hello! Any person some kind of knowledgeable? Good communication. Can you tell us the easiest approach to subscribe your blog?

  56. Posted by Emil Madron | September 3, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Just expressing cheers doesn’t only wind up being all you’ve got to, just for this fantastic quality in your creating.

  57. Posted by bookmarking service | September 8, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    RdQgDK Thank you for your blog article.

  58. Posted by make money off google | September 9, 2012 at 7:12 AM

    I am pleased an individual appreciated them also. Appreciate your blog!

  59. Posted by Vicente Szot | September 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    All amazing information could be useful in specific or perhaps the additional way. Retain upgrading your weblog, excited to get more written content material.

  60. Posted by Cruz Wirt | September 15, 2012 at 12:20 AM

    I am looking on the net a lot more than Three hours these days, nevertheless My partner and i by no signifies discovered virtually any intriguing post just like yours.

  61. Posted by Emerson Mink | September 15, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    thanks for your excellent advice especially about the placement in the long tail research terms.

  62. Posted by Wynona Panepinto | September 16, 2012 at 5:11 PM

    This is great. I have shared the hyperlink. A lot of these glance definitely useful, heading to be checking out a few for myself.

  63. Posted by Karoline Brimm | September 16, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    The new White House toilet paper.very funny!!!!!

  64. Posted by lida hapi | September 20, 2012 at 2:38 AM

    Thank you for this certain now I know locating wonderful goods in the foreseeable future

  65. Posted by search engine watch | September 22, 2012 at 7:39 AM

    This has already been this type of inspiring weblog, however inform huh for people it turned out to be your job via terrible.

  66. Posted by MariaWalter | September 25, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    Jetzt müssen Sie Ihre eigenen Bedürfnisse berücksichtigen. Denken Sie daran, wie viele Zeiten, Sie denken, dass Sie würden, zum Doktor und der Möglichkeit von Ihnen gehen, die für eine größere medizinische Operation hineingehen. Mit Hilfe dieser Faktoren und der Faktoren Ihrer Familie können Sie feststellen, welche eins für Sie richtig wäre.

    [url=http://rssholder.com/rss/EinerprivateKrankenkassVergleichnebstuns-178403.xml]private krankenkasse[/url]

  67. Posted by Eveline Elleman | September 27, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Your site despite the reality that I had a new a doubt. I am just undoubtedly not genuinely optimistic whether it be the absolute correct location to query,

  68. Posted by imilarcictami | October 2, 2012 at 5:13 AM
  69. Posted by lifeproof iphone 5 case | October 3, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  70. Posted by Anisha Krogstad | October 4, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    I will save your beneficial report because written

  71. Posted by icons archive | October 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM
  72. Posted by cracked android apps blackdroid | October 6, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

  73. Posted by aplicamaiciones android gratis | October 7, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  74. Posted by cheap bicycles | October 7, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Excellent post man, keep inside the fantastic purpose.

  75. Posted by Android Market Apk Download | October 8, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Nice post at 302 Found. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very useful information specially the last part :) I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  76. Posted by buy wow gold | October 15, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Helpful info. Fortunate me I discovered your website accidentally, and I’m surprised why this coincidence didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.

  77. Posted by Gary Mendell | October 16, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    A lot of thanks for expressing to become in a position to individuals, I could appreciate this internet site, and also bookmark at present.

  78. Posted by African Mango | October 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Interesting web blog write up. You all will want to look at this video. African Mango Review! It’s helped people.