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WSJ: “Shutdown Upends Timing” of Taper

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From Jon Hilsenrath at the WSJ: Fed Unlikely to Trim Bond Buying in October

The Fed is unlikely to start curtailing its bond buying at its next policy meeting Oct. 29-30. Fed officials have said the decision depends on how the economic data evolve, but the data won’t be very illuminating into November because the partial government shutdown closed the agencies that collect them.

“For those who really look at the data, it is going to basically delay thought of changing course,” Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said Thursday in an interview.

Fed officials could act at one of the following two meetings—Dec. 17-18 or Jan. 28-29. Their decision will turn on the strength of an economy that would still be a bit harder to read …

We’ve been flying blind, and it will take some until all “instruments” are working again. Plus the shutdown probably slowed growth in Q4 – and the Fed will want to understand the economic impact of the shutdown before changing course. 

Calculated Risk

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