FOMC Minutes Due Today ... What You Need to Know

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Today's release of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) likely will be reviewed closely by economists and Federal Reserve watchers. This is due out at 2:00 p.m. EST and should really be considered the last official look for any hope of quantitative easing measures ahead of the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium that takes place Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.

Everyone knows that there can effectively be no change in rates. Now it is that magical easing, or the quantitative easing that investors are hoping for. At the last FOMC release on Aug. 1, we saw the low-rate statement: "the FOMC sees exceptionally low interest rates to continue through at least the end of 2014."

More important was this:

The Committee will closely monitor incoming information on economic and financial developments and will provide additional accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability.

Here was our coverage of the last FOMC meeting and here was the FOMC's official statement.

Today's minutes are the last real look at what sort of quantitative easing measures the market can expect (or if it can expect them) ahead of Jackson Hole next week. Our take is that by now you have already seen Fed comments since the meeting and the entire rally has been based on the hope that more measures will save Europe (Draghi: Whatever it takes), the United States (QE3) and China (more easing and loosening of standards).

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. EST and all eyes will be on him then.  There is just one small problem with this. It is the Friday before Labor Day and most of the A-team and will be out all or most of the week, and even the B-team will be half-staffed on that Friday.

JON C. OGG


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Banking & Finance, Economy
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