The October 29 to 30 Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting is one which may be a bit of a paradox, or at least one full of irony. It is easy to assume that the FOMC is not going to talk up any tapering efforts because the government shutdown hurt so badly during the last month. At the same time, traders, investors, bankers, home buyers, and many other groups will be listening closely to each and every word from the FOMC statement.
The issue to watch is for just how long the market expects the $85 billion in monthly bond buying to continue. The last FOMC meeting was expected to have some tapering comments or at least a timeframe around that tapering. It did not. In fact, Ben Bernanke seems to have kicked the can down the road until after his tenure is up.
Now it will likely be Janet Yellen’s decision on when to taper or when to push that tapering date out to. We will be watching closely and other Fed-watchers will be watching closely as well.
One thing to consider is that the financial community is likely to have a bit a “getting to know you” period with Janet Yellen. Another consideration to keep in mind is that Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, has threatened to try to block Janet Yellen from confirmation without a move to open the Federal Reserve up to greater Congressional oversight.
There will be no press conference after this week’s FOMC meeting statement. This is also the next to last meeting of 2013 as the next FOMC meeting is December 17 to 18, and that means this likely could be Ben Bernanke’s next to last meeting as the Chairman.
Again, this is one of those FOMC meetings full of irony where you are almost positive that you know what will be said but everyone will also be watching closely to make sure there are no surprises.
Look for the statement to be issued sometime right around 2:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, October 30, 2013. Stay tuned.