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FOMC Minutes Show QE Taper Confusion
Posted February 20th, 2014

Los Angeles CA, Feb 20 (Tangible Investments) - by James ODell - The price of Gold rose overnight, and is presently trading at $1,315.30 an ounce after easing $10.21 or 0.77 percent to close at $1,310.60 an ounce on Wednesday, as the dollar firmed and investor concerns over the global economy continue to underpin gold's safe-haven appeal. The price of Silver slipped $0.40 or 1.83 percent to close at $21.51 an ounce, ending its longest rally in decades.
 
Minutes from the January meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released on Wednesday and reveal that officials were far apart when it came to agreeing on maintaining the current pace of tapering of its quantitative easing (QE) program. Policymakers, couldn’t seem to agree on anything, from short-term interest rates, to forward guidance, not even the state of the labor market, according to the minutes.
 
While a few of the more hawkish participants believed that the Fed should hike interest rates, some dovish members balked at the rapid pace of tapering. Two Fed officials said, however, that it would take a huge change in attitudes to get QE tapering off the table, even after the recent raft of weak economic data releases. "Several participants emphasized that the Committee should be prepared to vary the pace of asset purchases, either in response to changes in the economic outlook or as its evaluation of the efficacy and costs of such purchases evolved," said the minutes.
 
CIBC World Markets' Andrew Grantham says the minutes exposed the need to change the forward guidance on employment when the 6.5 percent threshold is crossed. “However," added Grantham, "there still doesn’t appear to be a consensus regarding how that is to be changed with ‘a range of views’ still present.”
 
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