Minutes from the November meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee will be published today, and investors will be scouring them for hints at drastic measures ahead from the Federal Reserve.The committee held the federal funds rate target stable at 0.25% and did not announce significant new policies, but Ben Bernanke gave strong hints that the Fed could soon embark on a more ambitious plan to bolster the economy.
Here are some big points we’ll be looking for:
- In the post-decision press conference, Bernanke mentioned that deflationary risk is something the Committee is worried about. Also silent were the “Gang of Three” inflation hawks who have been dissenting for the last few decisions. We could see just how concerned the committee is about this in the minutes.
- Targeting nominal GDP has been a hot topic in Fed-speak, although Bernanke said the Committee had no intentions of pursuing such a policy at the moment. Hints that such an idea was interesting, however, suggest that there could have been more talk about this than Bernanke let on.
- Quantitative easing could be on the docket, as investors have been hoping for months.
- Mentions of the eurozone crisis could feature prominently in the minutes, and investors will be looking to get a sense of how concerned the Fed is about the prospect of a global collapse. We could also see signs that the Fed is considering intervening to prop up Europe, though this does seem far-fetched at present.
The minutes will be published at 2 PM ET. Follow the release at Money Game >