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.
“Slightly less expected, however, is that despite the recent market volatility, the statement issued after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting was, if anything, more hawkish,” Capital Economics said in response to the announcement.
The new report left out two key details according to Capital Economics:
- The statement also dropped the previous assessment that "there remains significant underutilization of labor resources." The dropping of "significant" could be, well… significant.
- There was no mention of the recent market volatility in the statement, or anything about slower economic growth in the euro-zone or China.
Unexpectedly, the Fed still thinks it will be a "considerable time" before it begins to raise interest rates. Indeed, the Zero Interest Rate Policy remains in full force, as it has been since inception at the end of 2008.
“We didn't expect that language to be dropped at this meeting given there is no scheduled press conference, but we wouldn't be surprised if it is changed at the upcoming December meeting,” Capital Economics said. “Overall, we still believe that the Fed will begin to raise rates sooner than generally expected, with a March 2015 hike the most likely outcome.”
Meanwhile, others in the industry weighed in on the benefits to the end of tapering.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said, “The end of QE is good news. While many believe monetary accommodation was necessary in 2008 and 2009, the Federal Reserve allowed its extraordinary measures of the financial crisis to become its ordinary policy.”
“In both time and money, QE has overstayed its welcome by years and by trillions. Loose monetary policy before the crisis inflated the housing bubble and six years of QE may have just inflated the next bubble. More sustainable market-driven interest rates, an orderly unwinding of the Fed’s inflated balance sheet and a more predictable, rules-based monetary policy will help foster long term economy growth,” Hensarling added.
And when looking ahead, Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, said “I’m afraid the long-term legacy of the policy will reflect the harm it has done to our nation’s seniors, savers, and all Americans faced with greater uncertainty and the possibility of a QE-induced bubble.”
“The Fed’s easy money policy has only made it easier for the federal government to add trillions to our national debt, while creating precarious conditions in the corporate debt and high yield markets. It is my hope that today’s announcement marks a permanent end to QE and a shift to a more rules-based monetary policy that will benefit all Americans and lead to greater long-term economic prosperity,” Neugebauer added.