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September 20, 2005
John Berry was half right. As you no doubt already know, the Federal Open Market Committee went to Washington, they met, they raised the federal funds rate target again. The "measured pace" language survived, but references to "policy accommodation" did not. And there was this:
Voting against was Mark W. Olson, who preferred no change in the federal funds rate target at this meeting.
One other item of interest:
In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 25-basis-point increase in the discount rate to 4-3/4 percent. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.
Although this might appear to signal that five of the Reserve Bank Boards of Directors were in dissent, this information needs to be interpreted cautiously. All we know for sure is that these Banks did not submit a request for a 25 basis point increase in the discount rate (the rate the Fed charges banks for direct loans). We do not know if the Banks not included in this list wanted less or more. You are, of course, free to draw your own conclusions.
MORNING AFTER UPDATE: The statement parsed, at The Big Picture. The Capital Spectator sees the possibility of more of the same, and deeper trade deficits as a result. William Polley thinks "5% by summer is a real possibility." The Skeptical Speculator does its usual fine job of putting things in an international perspective. The Prudent Investor says the FOMC's press release "the confident and complacent tone of previous statements". Forex Rate Currency News characterizes the rate increase as "sheer relief".
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