Federal Reserve transcripts: The Great Recession! It’s right behind you!

THERE is a delicious moment in the popcorn thriller Air Force One, a summer blockbuster in which terrorists hijack the titular plane and the president of the United States, played by a steel-gazed Harrison Ford, works to foil their plot, recapture the plane, and avert an international crisis, all more-or-less single-handedly. In the aftermath of a moment of heroism the president is face-to-face with one of his secret service agents—who (we know but the president does not) helped the terrorists get on board the plane. Mr Ford’s character trustingly enlists the agent’s help and hands him a weapon, provoking a wonderful, audible groan across the threatrical audience.It is the rare Hollywood script imbued with as much dramatic irony as the most recent batch of Federal Reserve transcripts, covering the 2008 meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee. That, you may recall, was an eventful year, and Fed watchers have been anxiously awaiting this set of transcripts (they are typically published on a five-year lag). Upon their release on Friday, the wonkosphere (including your correspondent) quickly poured over the documents, took to Twitter to post the most groan-inducing statements, then sat back to savour the groans.What did the transcripts show? As it turns out, the FOMC was late to recognise the severity of the financial crisis and slow to head off the economic damage. …

Link to article: www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2014/02/federal-reserve-transcripts?fsrc=rss

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