Redacted Version of the FOMC Statement

Changes in italics.

April 2010June 2010Comments
Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in March suggests that economic activity has continued to strengthen and that the labor market is beginning to improve. Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in April suggests that the economic recovery is proceeding and that the labor market is improving gradually.Shades down their views on the economy as a whole, and employment as well.
Growth in household spending has picked up recently but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit.Household spending is increasing but remains constrained by high unemployment, modest income growth, lower housing wealth, and tight credit.Shades down their view of household spending.
Business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly; however, investment in nonresidential structures is declining and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls.Business spending on equipment and software has risen significantly; however, investment in nonresidential structures continues to be weak and employers remain reluctant to add to payrolls.Shades down their view of business spending.
Housing starts have edged up but remain at a depressed level.Housing starts remain at a depressed level.Marks down their view of housing significantly.
While bank lending continues to contract, financial market conditions remain supportive of economic growth.Financial conditions have become less supportive of economic growth on balance, largely reflecting developments abroad. Bank lending has continued to contract in recent months.Flips the two issues.  Shades their view of bank lending down.  Blames weaker financial markets on weakness in the Eurozone, which is slightly unfair.
Although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be moderate for a time, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability.Nonetheless, the Committee anticipates a gradual return to higher levels of resource utilization in a context of price stability, although the pace of economic recovery is likely to be moderate for a time.Statement flipped around, but same language.  Do they do this for fun?
Prices of energy and other commodities have declined somewhat in recent months, and underlying inflation has trended lower.New statement, buttressing their low inflation views.
With substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time.With substantial resource slack continuing to restrain cost pressures and longer-term inflation expectations stable, inflation is likely to be subdued for some time.No change.
The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.The Committee will maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.No change.
The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and will employ its policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.The Committee will continue to monitor the economic outlook and financial developments and will employ its policy tools as necessary to promote economic recovery and price stability.No change.  A useless statement.
In light of improved functioning of financial markets, the Federal Reserve has closed all but one of the special liquidity facilities that it created to support markets during the crisis. The only remaining such program, the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, is scheduled to close on June 30 for loans backed by new-issue commercial mortgage-backed securities; it closed on March 31 for loans backed by all other types of collateral.Statement deleted because it is obsolete.  The liquidity crisis is gone for now, they hope.
Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; James Bullard; Elizabeth A. Duke; Donald L. Kohn; Sandra Pianalto; Eric S. Rosengren; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Kevin M. Warsh. Voting against the policy action was Thomas M. Hoenig, who believed that continuing to express the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted because it could lead to a build-up of future imbalances and increase risks to longer run macroeconomic and financial stability, while limiting the Committee’s flexibility to begin raising rates modestly.Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; James Bullard; Elizabeth A. Duke; Donald L. Kohn; Sandra Pianalto; Eric S. Rosengren; Daniel K. Tarullo; and Kevin M. Warsh. Voting against the policy action was Thomas M. Hoenig, who believed that continuing to express the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted because it could lead to a build-up of future imbalances and increase risks to longer-run macroeconomic and financial stability, while limiting the Committee’s flexibility to begin raising rates modestly.No change at all.

Comments

  • Two months ago I wrote: The FOMC is overly optimistic on employment and housing issues.
  • Now the weakness is evident.  Hope has given way to modest pessimism, as they have shaded virtually all of their views of economic strength down.
  • Implicitly blaming the Eurozone is cheap, we have enough issues on our own for the weakness – residential housing, commercial real estate, and over-indebted consumers.
  • Hoenig still dissents; hasn’t gotten bored with it yet.  Have we gotten bored with him yet? J
  • The key variables are capacity utilization, unemployment, inflation trends, and inflation expectations.  As a result, the FOMC ain’t moving, absent increases in employment, or a US Dollar crisis.  Labor employment is the key metric.

1 Comment

  • Explorer says:

    A dollar crisis in the US is potentially forming now in some ways.

    As the USD gets much stronger than the Euro, imports increase, exports fall, domestic production falls, inflation falls, unemployment rises, more homes are lost, real estate falls, banks get weaker, profits of US based companies from overseas are translated to lower USD amounts, reducing earnings of multinational companies.

    I suspect the Fed thinks a USD crisis is a big fall, but given current U3 and U6 unemployment, I think it is a big rise.