Fed Admits It Is Caught In A Reflexive Catch 22
Here are the only key sections from the Minutes that matters, because they show clearly that the Fed is now fully aware of the Catch 22 quagmire it has caught itself in: suggest tapering due to an "strengthening economy" and watch "financial conditions tighten" (i.e., stock tumble, rates soar, refis plunge, housing market stalls, temp workers explode, etc) crashing the "economy"... or do nothing.
... the announcement of a reduction in asset purchases at this meeting might trigger an additional, unwarranted tightening of financial conditions, perhaps because markets would read such an announcement as signaling the Committee’s willingness, notwithstanding mixed recent data, to take an initial step toward exit from its highly accommodative policy...the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months, if sustained, could slow the pace of improvement in the economy and labor market... it was noted that if the Committee did not pare back its purchases in these circumstances, it might be difficult to explain a cut in coming months, absent clearly stronger data on the economy and a swift resolution of federal fiscal uncertainties.... postponing the reduction in the pace of asset purchases would also allow time for the Committee to further discuss and to implement a clarification or strengthening of its forward guidance for the federal funds rate, which could temper the risk that a future downward adjustment in asset purchases would cause an undesirable tightening of financial conditions.
Curious that the Fed decided to say the tightening of financial conditions was "unwarranted" - is there a "warranted" market crush and rate surge? Oh wait, Lehman. Never mind.
As for reflexivity: it's a bitch.
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