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Who Knew the Fed was This Funny?

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By TheNajdorfDefens
April 6, 2006

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Today, the Fed released the transcripts of its meetings from 2000, and I'm laughing my head off. I never knew these economists were such jokers. These are all actual quotes taken from the transcripts:


MR. PRELL. It may just be that we are wild and crazy guys here.
MS. MINEHAN. I love it when you say that.

#10: After being elected unanimously chairman of the FOMC:

CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. I always appreciate the democratic process.


MR. KOHN. Actually, I think it could occur if we put the third derivative negative. That is, productivity could still be accelerating but if it were accelerating more slowly over time, the same mechanism would work slowly.

CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. I grant you your algebra.


CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. I would not want to be in the position of adopting a hard asymmetric statement of the balance of risks toward rising inflation and then see the economy weaken from under us. That would make us look really unimaginative.


MR. MOSKOW. I would like to speak first because those of us in Chicago know how to handle recounts!

CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. I've heard that if you rig the numbers in the beginning, you won't have to do a recount.


CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. Let me indicate that the next meeting is going to be a rather long one because our agenda is quite lengthy. We will be meeting at 9 a.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is longer than usual, so I'll give you all a heads up. Let's go to lunch.

MR. KOHN. The announcement?

CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. Oh, I'm sorry. That tells you how hungry I am.


From the meeting on March 21, 2000:

MR. BROADDUS...It's almost as though we have too much credibility, in a sense.


CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. Governor Ferguson.

MR. FERGUSON. I support both halves of your recommendation. And since we are confessing, I will confess that my heart is pure.

MR. GRAMLICH. You're obviously not a Catholic.

MR. FERGUSON. That is also true. I do think a 25 basis point move is appropriate today. As I said earlier, a 50 basis point move may be appropriate later.

VICE CHAIRMAN MCDONOUGH. You know what happens to those whose hearts are pure? Their strength is as the strength of ten.

MR. FERGUSON. He has to turn his collar around the other way.


MR. POOLE...I'm reminded that a couple of weeks ago I had the very pleasant experience of touring the Boeing F-18 assembly plant and had about thirty minutes in the simulator for an F-18. I must say I'm a lot happier sitting around this table than I am in an F-18! But in the process of trying to land that plane in the simulator of the aircraft carrier, I ended up producing what the instructor called "pilot-induced oscillation." That means finding oneself wobbling first one way and then the other way. And I think we have some of the same concerns about monetary policy. We don't want to overreact--

CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN. Let me ask--did you land or didn't you land?


MR. BROADDUS. I would recommend and would hope that the press statement that accompanies our announcement includes language making it clear that we are not yet panicking--that it's not a foregone conclusion that we're necessarily going to ease further. I guess that comment was predictable.

MS. MINEHAN. "We are not yet panicking."

VICE CHAIRMAN MCDONOUGH. I don't think we will make you our press secretary.


MS. MINEHAN. What do they say about consistency being the hobgoblin of something?

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