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The markets need to know when the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates, or at least what economic conditions it will use to make the decision.
But the minutes released yesterday (Wednesday) from the Oct. 28-29 FOMC meeting provide plenty of escape hatches.
In short, any Fed action in 2015 on interest rates rests not just on the economic data, but also on how the FOMC members decide to interpret that data.
Of course anyone who has followed the Fed over the past few years knows that its economic data-based guidance is hogwash.
Remember back in late 2012 when the FOMC members said they'd start raising interest rates after unemployment fell below 6.5%?
Well, in April unemployment hit 6.3%. In October the jobless rate fell to 5.8%.
But all we get from the Federal Reserve is more waffling. The economic targets that would trigger action get increasingly vague.
And contradictory statements from several Fed members both before and after that October FOMC meeting have further muddied the picture.
About the Author
Dave has been a journalist for more than 35 years, including 18 spent at The Baltimore Sun. He has worked as a writer, editor, and page designer at different times in his career. He's interviewed a number of well-known personalities - ranging from punk rock icon Joey Ramone to Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak.
Over the course of his journalistic career, Dave has covered many diverse subjects. Since arriving at Money Morning in 2011, he has focused primarily on technology. He's an expert on both Apple and cryptocurrencies. He started writing about Apple for The Sun in the mid-1990s, and had an Apple blog on The Sun's web site from 2007-2009. Dave's been writing about Bitcoin since 2011 - long before most people had even heard of it. He even mined it for a short time.
Dave has a BA in English and Mass Communications from Loyola University Maryland.