Today, the Federal Reserve's monetary policymaking body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), shocked market participants and central bank observers by refraining from reducing the pace of monthly bond purchases it makes under the open-ended quantitative easing program it introduced exactly a year ago.
The surprise of the week was not the goofy ending to the cliff. It was the minutes from the Fed. The meeting in question took place on 12/12, just 23 days ago. Some very major announcements came as a result of that meeting. A new, and much more aggressive Fed policy was revealed. For the first time ever, the Fed set a target for when monetary policy would change.
With Bernie Sanders's hold on Ben Bernanke in the news today, it's worth repeating that this does not, in any way, threaten the Fed's "independence." The confirmation process is natural, and if Bernanke were to be defeated,
After a big sell-off in the bond market following the last time Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke made a public appearance (at his testimony before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress on May 22), most expect today's FOMC monetary policy statement to strike a dovish tone and attempt to pare back some of the volat