The Committee sees the downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market as having diminished, on net, since last fall, but the tightening of financial conditions observed in recent months, if sustained, could slow the pace of improvement in the economy and labor market.
The punchline is that the tightening of financial conditions in recent months was caused by ... rumors that the Fed was going to taper. There's a bit of a Möbius Strip problem here. If markets think the taper is imminent, you get tight financial conditions and then those conditions become a reason not to taper.
The Fed used to have similar problems with interest rates. Good news about the labor market was perceived as increasing the odds of higher rates, which in turn was bad news for the labor market. Ben Bernanke moved to address that by offering "forward guidance" designed to clarify the circumstances under which rates might rise. But then the latest round of Quantitative Easing seems to have recreated the problem.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.