When the interest rate decision is announced today, the Federal Open Market Committee will most likely leave its current monetary policy unchanged and say that "economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period."
In other words, just because Chairman Bernanke said that the recession is "technically over," that doesn't mean that consumers are feeling too swell or that Fed policy will shift. Fed governors have told us as much in their public statements and appearances. Just because we have backed away from the edge of disaster doesn't mean that a sustained recovery is baked in the cake.
Here's what I think is on Bernanke's mind right now:
- Sure the worst is over, but if I don't get this next part right, I'm finished.
- When should we stop buying all of those mortgage-backed securities? It's helped stabilize the housing market, but we can't do it forever.
- Econ data is moving in the right direction, but with employment still declining and real incomes stagnate, when will consumers join the recovery?
- I wish the inflation hawks would shut up already. I know that real rates will rise eventually as recovery takes firmer hold, but right now, I'm still worried about deflation--did anyone notice that prices are down 1.5% from a year ago?
- This stock market rally is freaking me out--glad that all my money is in a blind trust so I don't have to think about it too much.
- Love that blogger Mark Thoma--wants the Fed to oversee the entire financial system.
- I'm so psyched that the boss gave me another term!