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Fed Mouthpiece "Explains" Epic September Fed Confusion

In the wake of the Fed’s historic September “dovish hold”/”clean relent” which was significant for any number of reasons, but most especially because of what it said about the Fed’s apparent willingness to begrudgingly admit that it now has an intractable reflexivity problem (i.e. the FOMC is market dependent), every market participant was anxious to know one thing: what does Jon Hilsenrath think? 

Ok, not really.

But WSJ’s Fed whisperer is always good for a bit of Eccles propaganda and his take is also useful in terms of getting a read on what Janet Yellen and company are thinking and so, for whatever it's worth to you, we present the following Hilsy interpretation of the just-released minutes from the “most important” Fed meeting in recent history. Bear in mind that the FOMC is now completely trapped and confused, as that will help to explain any apparent inconsistencies in what, in what passes for "logic" in PhD economist circles...

From WSJ:

Federal Reserve officials held off on raising short-term interest rates at their September policy meeting because they had nagging worries about when inflation would return to 2% after running below their official target for more than three years, according to minutes of the meeting released Thursday.

 

The Fed has twin goals of a robust labor market and low, stable inflation. At the last meeting, which they had earlier signaled could lead to the first interest rate increase in nearly a decade, officials decided they were near their goal of “full employment,” but weren’t yet convinced about inflation. Having approached the job market goal, the minutes suggest the prospective interest rate decision will depend on whether they become more confident inflation won’t continue to undershoot their objective.

 

“Many members said that the improvement in labor market conditions met or would soon meet one of the (Fed’s) criteria for beginning policy normalization,” the minutes said. “But some indicated that their confidence that inflation would gradually return to the (Fed’s) 2% objective over the medium term had not increased.”

 

(More to come)

Ok, sure. "More to come." We'll hold our breath for that but at the end of the day these minutes are just as useless as the last minutes because whereas previously, we didn't know how to interpret the Fed's thoughts due to a lack of commentary on China (which later proved to be critical), now, we don't know what they think about Septemeber's abysmal NFP print. 

In any event, one has to believe that the dovishness will only continue going forward because to be perfectly honest, there's no hawkish path out of this conundrum.