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[Getting Graphic] Sweet 16 at 5%: The Fed Remains Consistent But Muddies The Water

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Source:WSJ



The Bernanke Fed was true to form as the Federal Open Market Committe raised the federal funds rate, its key short-term interest rate another 25 basis points to hit 5%. As with prior Fed actions, the Wall Street Journal has an interesting analysis called Parsing The Fed [1] where it analyzes the nuances of FedSpeak.

For the first time in 2 years, the Fed gave the impression it was nearing the end of its rate hike strategy but left itself the option to continue to do so at a later date as the information from economic unfolds [Polley] [2].

I would think this posture will create further uncertainty for the bond market, which will continue to place upward pressure on fixed rates even after short term rates level off, should the Fed stop. This seemingly lack of clear articulation by the Fed does not help the housing market, which has already been dampened by rising mortgage rates.

Here is the actual release from the FOMC [3]