Guest Post: The Correlation Of Laughter At FOMC Meetings

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by The Daily Stag Hunt,

Five years on, the powers that be have just released the transcripts of the Fed's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meetings from 2006.  Putting hindsight economic analysis aside, you quickly realize more than anything else: the committee is full of burgeoning comedians!

Commentators have already highlighted the "humor" of the FOMC meetings (WaPo, dealbreaker), but it is really over the top at timesThere are periods where Greenspan seems only capable of speaking in witty quips.  On that count, he was clearly at the top of his game at the top of the market.

There is one incredible exchange at the January meeting - Greenspan's last as chairman - where after complaining about the "inexorable upward drift" in the minutes spent by each board member delivering his or her analysis of the economy, Greenspan is praised by then-Vice Chair Geithner:

CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN.  Vice Chair, [it's your turn to speak].


VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNER.  Mr. Chairman, in the interest of crispness, I’ve removed asubstantial tribute from my remarks.  [Laughter]


CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN.  I am most appreciative.  [Laughter]


VICE CHAIRMAN GEITHNERI’d like the record to show that I think you’re pretty terrific, too.  [Laughter] And thinking in terms of probabilities, I think the risk that we decide in the future that you’re even better than we think is higher than the alternative. [Laughter] With that, the economy looks pretty good to us, perhaps a bit better than it did at the last meeting.  With the near-term monetary policy path that’s now priced into the markets, we think the economy is likely to grow slightly above trend in ’06 and close to trend in ’07...


Greenspan's other jibes and jokes are countless.  It makes for quite a fun read if you get past all the boring economic analysis parts.  In fact, if the stenographer was accurate, the Committee broke into laughter 45 times in just the January meeting! That's at least 45 jokes (some didn't get laughs - if only we knew the quality of each laughter!). I would have guessed that would be a lot relative to other meetings, right?   I mean how funny would it be if the top of the housing market was also when the FOMC was telling the most jokes in their meetings?

Well, being a data nerd with nothing better to do on a Thursday night, I looked into it.  To be precise, I went back for just the last six years (2001-06) and searched for how many times the stenographer's notation for laughter appeared in the released transcripts of each FOMC meeting.


Suffice it to say the data is funny...

The number of recorded laughs actually increased in frequency from 2000 to 2006.  In 2001, the FOMC erupted into laughter 16.5 times per meeting on average. In 2003, it was over 19. In 2005, 27.  And then in 2006, the FOMC burst into laughter nearly 44 times per meeting! 


And just in case you woke up from a 5-year coma this morning, the Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index also peaked in 2006.

That's right, the FOMC was laughing all the way to the top!

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Ahmeexnal's picture

Let the sheeple eat HOPE AND CHANGE!

BaBaBouy's picture

HaHaHa ...

Laugh ye old Fuckers, while you Destroy the American Middleclass ...


AND More Bubble Baths For Buffet ...

redpill's picture

"And thinking in terms of probabilities, I think the risk that we decide in the future that you’re even better than we think is higher than the alternative."


This quote makes me think of...


"Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?"

walküre's picture

Is that one of those French responses to their downgrade today?

Zero Govt's picture

sounds like the verbal diarrhea Timothy Geithner comes out with machine gun sticato speed

if only someone could slow the twat down long enough we could finally count the lies per minute he delivers on behalf of the US Treasury

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Why? It's only one big lie, over and over

AC_Doctor's picture

None of these fuckers should be allowed to breed their diseased genetics...

walküre's picture

That would probably have saved us a lot of grief over the centuries.

Sudden Debt's picture

And yet they got to fuck everybody....

Chuck Walla's picture

No, I junked Suddedn Debt. My wife is still sore from the Fed and she ain't laffin'!

Arvo Particleboard's picture

The viability of sodomy as a reproductive tactic is dubious at best.

Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Not if your propagating parasites, its the tapeworm reserve

Dr. Engali's picture

You got junked by a fed head.

redpill's picture

Careful what you wish for, prevent them from breeding and they'll start taking our children too.

UP Forester's picture

Start?  Wasn't there something about Lincoln County or something a few years back, and Boys Town a few decades back?

Overflow-admin's picture

Good thing that stupidity and greed determinative genetic material is transmitted in the process, so we can take aome samples of DNA from these fuckers and study them to isolate these parameters. And then we go amok and genocide this population worldwide. /sarcasm

PaperBear's picture

Just crossed the MNI wire:

'FED: Evans to the press on QE: he "said $600B on Wednesday because that is what we have done in the past. But, I think it has to be something substantial. $600B is a good start." Fed could decide to do something meeting by meeting--buy some assets, then reassess. Fed could buy Tsys or Fannie/Freddie/MBS "MBS could be perfectly fine"; "buying MBS would have a more direct effect on the economy." If we behave aggressively could get better economic performance 1-2 years earlier than expected.'
Dr. Engali's picture

If they don't do two trillion this market will roll over like a dog looking for a treat.

Sudden Debt's picture

I would have said "rollover like Robo's girlfriend when the mailman comes by" but I think that's pretty much like the same thing.

Dr. Engali's picture

Robo has a girlfriend? I thought it was just him and his blow up doll in his mother's basement.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Robo's girlfriend is PALMela HANDerson.

piceridu's picture

Ok, it used to be Rosy Palmer.

UP Forester's picture

Whatever happened to her four skinny sisters, and the short fat one?

Sudden Debt's picture

For 20$ she's anybody's girlfriend actually.... :)


SheepDog-One's picture

Exactly, hell at LEAST $2 trillion has already been baked into equities, probably more like 2X that amount....they cant deliver to meet expectations.

And even if they did....then what? The ravenous monster would gulp it down and then demand more.

baby_BLYTHE's picture

Alan Greenspan pretty much destroyed the world single handily. END THE FUCKIN' FED already!

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Good to see he had a good time doing it though. He laughs, America cries.

Conrad Murray's picture

Alan Greenspan, the Randian suicide bomber of the American system. Cheeky little fanatically dedicated bastard, yea?

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Hell yeah, they'll laugh [at our expense] when there is no way in hell they can be held accountable or criminal - IT'S GREAT TO BE THE KING.....

justanothernerd's picture

Is there any way we can correlate this data to GDP growth or the S&P 500? I'm curious if laughter is a leading or trailing indicator.

stopcpdotcom's picture

Funny sodding peculiar.

jcaz's picture

Al let the star crap go to his head-  one blow job from Andrea Mitchell, it was all over.....

Canaduh's picture

What does he intend to do with that sausage?

UP Forester's picture

Feed it to Ms. Bachmann, who is tickling the ivories?

Jayda1850's picture

Laughing straight to the fucking bank, the cocksuckers.

Dr. Engali's picture

I'd like to see how that stacks up to the Bernank.

spekulatn's picture

Dr. Burry said it best.



SheepDog-One's picture

Assumes the FED did NOT see 'the crisis' coming....much less planned the whole damn thing all along!

spekulatn's picture

One must always read between the lines, especially with elite media outlets.


kralizec's picture

I laugh everytime they meet...

bpom's picture

Tax the Fed (while it's being dismantled).

Quinvarius's picture

Yeah.  Are they paying property tax on all that Real estate they bought?  No wonder cities are going under!

distopiandreamboy's picture

I bet they laugh when they read unemployment numbers too.


TG: "Hey Benny waddya make of thisl 8.5% unemployment?"

BB: "Only about 2% away from QE3, Timmy!"


Caviar Emptor's picture

(nervous laughter heard on recording)....Yes indeed, my monetarist friends. When you've met one deficit you've met them all. (laughter followed by applause). 

bankonzhongguo's picture

Now that is some useful analysis.

I can't wait for the next 6 years of "bankster laugh data."

Chances are they are laughing harder and more often these days.


We will NEVER forget.


pods's picture

You are running under the assumption that in 6 years we will still have enough of a system that we will be able to see the minutes.


Havana White's picture

Someone stuff that maw with tar and feathers.