The market expected the announcement of the end of quantitative easing Wednesday, putting an end to a more than two-year-old asset purchase program. Now the market is left to adjust for where the next step could potentially be.
It’s over. The Federal Open Market Committee officially decided to conclude its two-year-old asset purchase program this month due to the substantial improvement in the outlook for the labor market and strength in the broader economy. The Zero Interest Rate Policy, on the other hand, remains in full effect.
The Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes are just minutes away from being revealed, potentially announcing the end to Quantitative Easing. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he doesn’t think the Fed can unwind years of extraordinary stimulus without causing turmoil in financial markets.
When the Federal Reserve first announced the start of quantitative easing, the stock markets furiously reacted, becoming what is now referred to as the "taper tantrum." Fast forward more than half a year and where can this be seen in the market now?
"A range of labor market indicators suggests that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources. Household spending appears to be rising moderately and business fixed investment is advancing, while the recovery in the housing sector remains slow," the minutes continued.
Due to the clear progress the economy has made toward its long-term goals, the Philadelphia Fed president no longer believes the forward guidance language in the Fed statement is appropriate or warranted.
The Federal Reserve decides to taper another $10 million in bond purchases. However, the FOMC cautioned that there remains significant underutilization of labor resources, with the recovery in the housing sector moving at a slow pace.
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