Anticipation Day

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It's a strange Monday morning. Much of Wall Street is preparing itself for the news that will hit the tape later this week. The biggest news, of course, is the decision tomorrow by the Federal Open Markets Committee on interest rates. But we'll also have earnings news from Lehman tomorrow, followed by a host of other Wall Street players.
There's certainly a lot of mental energy being expended to guess what happens with interest rates tomorrow. There's a clear consensus that the Fed will cut the target rate but no consensus about how far the cuts will go. The market for fed funds options implies a pretty even division of opinion. A recent survey of economists, however, found that 77% or respondents expect a 25 basis point cut, 18% expect a 50bp cut, and 5% expect no cut at all.
Mark Shivers, who writes "The Talking Fed" blog, has run through each of the members of the FOMC and tried to estimate their favored policy. His count reveals four voting members favoring a 50 point cut, two voting members favoring a 25 point cut and four whose views are murky because they haven't spoken out recently. Interestingly, the non-voting regional Fed presidents seem most opposed to the deeper cuts, according to Shivers analysis. He counts five out of seven on the side of a 25 point cut, with the other two unknown.
A similar, if less conventional, survey has been undertaken by blogger "Johnny Debacle" on Long or Short Capital. He asks the pagan gods Neptune and Poseidon, as well as Sauron and a dragon, what they think will happen with interest rates. Sauron favors one cut to rule them all, while the dragon responds by breathing fire at the interviewer.
So what do you think? After the jump, vote your expectation in our Reader Poll.

Counting FOMC Votes
[The Talking Fed]
Who wants a drink from the Interest Rate Hose? [Long Or Short Capital]

Opinion Polls & Market Research

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