Mike Shedlock

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


  1. I purposely cherry picked statements of various Fed governors. There was much more gloom in the early minutes than I show below. Yet, the consensus opinion, even though the recession had already started, was that a recession would be avoided.
  2. Amazingly, Bernanke spoke of pent-up demand for housing in January of 2008
  3. The January 29-30 transcript was a whopping 194 pages long. I slogged through most of it. Some outside consultants presented to the Fed at that meeting, generally giving an amazingly rosy view of the world as well.

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.

Mike Shedlock

Mike Shedlock is a registered investment advisor representative for Sitka Pacific Capital Management.

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