Fed Thoughts: Smooth Sailing on a Voyage to Nowhere

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Fed Thoughts: Smooth Sailing

Vincent Reinhart

Vincent Reinhart - Chief Economist & Macro Strategist

The street magician and illusionist David Blaine is always looking for challenges to test human endurance. On public display, he has been buried alive, electrified and frozen. Here, though, is a more formidable challenge: boredom. Blaine should try to attend the upcoming two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)—to be held May 2nd and 3rd— and through sheer force of will, not yawn.

The truth is that no one could wring much excitement from the meeting. US Federal Reserve (Fed) officials have already made pretty plain their plan to tighten along a shallow path, envisioning two more quarter-point moves in 2017 and the start of asset runoffs. As a result, they have the luxury of reserving action for press-conference meetings, those four-times-a-year opportunities to lay out their forecasts and roll out Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen before reporters. The upcoming meeting is one of the former, one in which they meet but do not report their outlook or offer an extended explanation of policy setting to members of the media.

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