Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee concluded their policy meeting a short time ago and, to no one's surprise, short-term lending rates were held steady at the freakishly low level of between 0 and 0.25 percent.
There was something of a surprise, however, from Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig who went on record saying that he doesn't much care for interest rates that are kept too low for too long and would rather see the guarantee of low rates for "an extended period" stricken from the official statement.
No changes were announced for any of the many asset purchase programs the central bank has undertaken over the last two years and is now in the process of winding down, the most important of which is the massive program that has seen the addition of about a trillion dollars in mortgage backed securities to the Fed's balance sheet.
This program is scheduled to conclude in less than two months, however, in both of the last two statements, the door was left open for mortgage purchases to resume if need be.
A full side-by-side comparison of the last two policy statements is shown below: