Mar 15, 2008

What to expect from Fed's March 18 meet?

All eyes are now on the Fed meeting on March 18. What are the key risks for the US economy and what should policy makers watch out for? 

Timothy Geithnerm, President, Federal Reserve-Bank of New York said, "The critical risk in the outlook now remains the potential for these strains in the financial markets to have outsized adverse effects on the economic activity particularly by exacerbating what is happening in the housing sector. It is important to see that the monetary policy and other tolls that we have are used proactively in monitoring these risks."

Diane Swonk, Chief Economist, Mesirow Financials, said, "I think that no matter what the employment numbers come out. I think it would have looked very strong for them to cut before the numbers come in. now. At least they have the chance to do that tomorrow as they are going to get the employment numbers and I think they are going to move 75 bps in the next meeting and I think they have very much the sense and they have the inflation marks that are clearly disturbed out there. But at the end of the day it is the most powerful tool and they will have to keep using it."