Today the Fed released minutes of meetings at the start and during the great financial crisis. These minutes show how clueless the Fed Governors were at the start of the recession.
Here is a list of FOMC Transcripts and Other Historical Materials, 2008
January 9, 2008: Telephone Conference Meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee
Staff Report: The incoming data on spending and production have, on net, led us to revise up our estimate of real GDP growth in 2007:Q4 by about 1-1/4 percentage points relative to the December Greenbook.
Much of the upward revision is in consumer spending and reflects the November figures on retail sales and PCE services. In addition, the construction put-in-place data for November imply a sizable upward revision to our estimate of nonresidential construction in Q4.
For purposes of this update, we have not made any changes to our assumptions for the federal funds rate. In particular, the forecast update is predicated on the assumption that the funds rate will be held steady at 4¼ percent through mid-2009 and then lowered by 25 basis points in the second half of that year.
Real GDP growth is lower in 2008 and 2009 than in the December Greenbook, though the level of real GDP at the end of 2009 is only a bit lower than in the last Greenbook, reflecting the upward revision to our estimate of real GDP growth in 2007:Q4.