The US Fed has released transcripts from their 2012 policy meetings

The Fed release the transcripts from their meetings with a 5 year delay and today we’ve had the 2012 notes. Here’s some of the highlights;

  • Ben Bernanke said Mario Draghi was “playing a careful game” and that “(Draghi) has actually been very hawkish fiscally, and I think the purpose of that is to give comfort to the Germans in particular, in the hopes that they will, given these reassurances, be more forthcoming themselves. It is a complicated game.”
  • While Jerome Powell backed QE he said he harboured real doubts about the efficacy of further balance-sheet actions to close the output gap
  • In June 2012 the Fed were were a little more worried about Europe than they let on at the time. William Dudley said “I cannot overemphasise how dangerous the situation is,”
  • Ben Bernanke warned Fed policy makers about 2012 leaks
  • Janet Yellen was fully behind setting a 2% inflation target saying of that and the rest of the policy statement in Jan 2012, that it was “a truly momentous occasion in the history of the FOMC”

2012 was right when more of the proverbial banking poop hit the fan in Europe as the ECB stepped in to offer unlimited support for bailed out countries via it’s OMT programme. It’s interesting to read some of the deeper thoughts from the Fed on the matter. There’s obviously tons of transcripts but fortunately the WSJ has a great round up and summary. Not only have they summarised the docs but they’ve also linked in their stories from the relevant FOMC meetings too, so we can see the difference in the language offered publicly via the statements, and the real views from behind the closed doors.

Ryan Littlestone

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