Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Irwin: Five Things to Watch for on Fed Day

by Bill McBride on 12/12/2012 10:02:00 AM

Note: The FOMC statement will be released around 12:30 PM ET today.

Neil Irwin at the WaPo lists Five things to look for out of the Fed today.

Here is the list:

1. More bond buying starting in January (after the expiration of Operation Twist). Most estimates are for an expansion of QE3 from $40 billion per month to around $85 billion per month.

2. "But what kinds of bonds?" Treasuries or Fannie / Freddie Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) or some combination of both.

3. "What’s the threshold?". This probably will not happen at this meeting (setting thresholds for raising the Fed Funds rate based on the unemployment rate, inflation, and possibly other economic indicators). As Irwin notes, if they do announce thresholds it "would be a surprise and would be the big headline out of the meeting."

4. "What kind of year is 2013 going to be?" The projections will be released at 2:00 PM ET. Of course the projections depend on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

5. "What’s our potential?" This is the Fed's longer term projections for GDP growth, the unemployment rate, and inflation, and these will be included in the projections.

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