The Federal Reserve's promise to keep short-term interest rates low for an "extended period" has become boilerplate in its post-meeting statements.
That, in turn, has comforted financial markets, which obviously aren't in any hurry to see the Fed tighten the easy-money spigot.
But the minutes of the Fed's March 16 Open Market Committee meeting, released Tuesday by the central bank, included a discussion of what "extended period" really means -- or might mean.
The upshot: No one should assume that the "extended period" wording in a meeting statement indicates that the Fed is signaling at least several more months of rock-bottom interest rates. Policymakers might act much more quickly to raise rates, depending on the economic backdrop....MORE
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
"What the Fed's 'extended period' on low interest rates might really mean"
From the Los Angeles Times' Money&Co. blog: