Parsing the FOMC Statement

Via the public section of the WSJ comes this smart parsing of the FOMC statement:

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Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006 

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. winjr commented on Dec 12

    Didn’t the Fed refer to the cooling of the housing sector as “substantial” two meetings ago?

  2. Steven commented on Dec 12

    So this time for the FOMC meeting, it is a “Substantial Cooling” of the Real Estate Market. if we can interpret more pragmatically that it is time for the real thing and we can anticipate that there could be a forcefully adjustment of the property market which could mean a cooling of the consumer market or a forthcoming recession in the the turn of the new year….Let’s see

    Steven Soh

  3. JSL commented on Dec 12

    Go Lacker! :)

  4. Joe commented on Dec 12

    Maybe its simply because i work in the business of airplanes, but whenever I look at housing market recessions, I can’t see why everyone is debating the terms “soft landing” vs “hard landing”…. b/c either way, its a long runway.

  5. M.Z. Forrest commented on Dec 12

    This is not the fourth straight pause. A pause is an interuption of a trend. This is its own trend, and the fed has all but declared that the next break in the trend will be downward. I would expect the current rate to persist longer than expected. I don’t see what would convince the feds to raise the rate at this point. Even a collapse of the dollar, improbable, would not result in raised rates, because it would be too late for such a rise to be effective.

  6. Zephyrs commented on Dec 12

    A repeat by the Fed – as expected.

  7. anderl commented on Dec 13

    I don’t see what would convince the feds to raise the rate at this point.
    -M.Z. Forrest
    A collapse in the dollar relative to all currencies. Mainly the Yen and Euro from panicking carry traders exiting their positions. Raising the Fed rate would increase the spread on the USDJPN and EURUSD slowing the losses and making it more lucractive to hold their positions or re-enter them.

  8. My1 commented on Dec 13

    Whenever two things seem to contradict it usually helps to consider both fundamentals.

    In the case of interest rates, we may have a true case of stagflation.

    On the one hand we have a rising inflationary rate, a falling dollar (adding ever more inflation), rising commodity prices and “booming” financial markets. This will result in higher rates and bond yields.

    On the other hand we have a threat of an economic slowdown starting with the US Housing market that will most probably have an effect on most of the emerging markets, yes, even China. This will warrant a lowering of rates.

    It would seem that we will have both. THIS is why the Fed remains put. It’s a matter of time before one or the other will strike. A recession will likely bring rates down immediately, while rapid inflation will raise them.

    Also do not forget, as many I see have, that the Fed can raise Interest Rates overnight without any meetings (or Lacker). Alan did this right after the Crash of 87.

    In the long run though, I’d say that yields are most certainly up.

  9. blam commented on Dec 13

    The Fed is holding rates steady because a drop in rates would slaughter the dollar and inflate the commodities bubble even more.

    On the other hand, a rate increase would slaughter the stock market bubble and aggravate the housing market’s attempted bubble deflation.

    What’s a Fed to do. Wait for Europe and Asia to catch America’s cold. A flight to quality will cause the dollar to rise and provide cover for the Fed to drop rates. The housing bust has got to be at the top of the Fed list of gremlins. Lower mortgage rates are the only thing that will stabilize the housing market short term and inflation long term.

    Meanwhile, the zombi market continues, under the control of a confluence of “mysterious” forces. I’m with Jeff Saut.

    Stagflation ain’t so bad if you’re working.

  10. My1 commented on Dec 13

    May I ask, and not trying to be a true “Housing Bear” or anything of the sort, but is a “stabilizing” in the Housing market in our best interest. If so then how would it be any different then pumping liquidity into the markets in 1987, lowering rates too low/long in 2000 or expanding credit-resources in the recent months.

    It pains me to say this but when we say this can’t go on, it means we need a “substantial” correction. The Fed couldn’t have said it better.

    “Stagflation ain’t so bad if you’re working.”
    …and one would only hope at least that continues.

  11. naked commented on Dec 13

    11-year high core inflation if fed cuts, housing bubble bursts if fed raises. keep fed rate the same and get both inflation and housing correction

  12. M.Z. Forrest commented on Dec 13


    A collapse in the dollar would happen too quickly to allow an interest rate intervention. There is a lot air leaking from the balloon, but there hasn’t been a pop yet. As for managing the carry trade, no one has a good solution yet. Our primary concern with interest rates should not be the carry trade.

  13. Bluzer commented on Dec 13

    “Stagflation ain’t so bad if you’re working.”

    Its not the working part that worries me – its the getting paid part.

  14. Zephyr commented on Dec 14

    Stagflation is a lousey place to be. Stagnant growth accompanied by inflation.

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