Before the Federal Open Market Committee began pretending to kick around the idea that maybe it might actually begin to cut its bond buys now, rather than, say, in the future, Ben Bernanke and co. threw themselves a little birthday party featuring the Beard’s only two surviving predecessors, to commemorate the signing of the bill that made all of the ink spilled about tapering stimulus programs possible. Read more »
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Among the many reasons given by the Federal Reserve for their reluctance to buy, say $80 billion in bonds each more instead of $85 billion, is that U.S. policymakers continue to refuse to make policy. Like, say, policy to keep the government operating.
Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), who struck the deal after weeks of private talks, said it would allow more spending for domestic and defense programs in the near term, while adopting deficit-reduction measures over a decade to offset the costs….
Some investors say that the deal could push forward the Federal Reserve’s taper timetable. In September when the central bank surprised investors and kept its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program in place, it cited the looming budget battle as a reason for caution. But now, that risk has diminished.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is what you might call a bellwether at the central bank, given his closeness to the Great (Retiring) Beard. That means he’s a winner. It also means he may or may not have any strong opinions of his own. Except this one: It is high time that the Fed made a decision on tapering. Now, he’s not saying what that decision should be, but if someone knows, they should probably tell him. Read more »