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  3. HERE COMES FED MINUTES...

HERE COMES FED MINUTES...

HERE COMES FED MINUTES...

Ben Bernanke

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses the National Economists Club annual dinner at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, November 19, 2013. Bernanke said on Tuesday the Fed will maintain ultra-easy U.S. monetary policy for as long as needed and will only begin to taper bond buying once it is assured that labor market improvements would continue.

Heads up! We are minutes away from the minutes from Federal Open Market Committee's October meeting.

The wording of the statement released at the end of that meeting on October 30 was little changed from that of the statement released at the conclusion of the September FOMC meeting.

In September, the FOMC surprised market participants by refraining from announcing a first tapering of its quantitative easing program - under which the Federal Reserve buys $85 billion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities each month - justifying its decision on the grounds that economic data had not improved enough to warrant tapering.

Following the September decision, the consensus expectation for the timing of the first tapering announcement was pushed all the way out to the March FOMC meeting, especially in light of the government shutdown that spanned the first half of October.

Notably absent from the October statement, however, was any acknowledgment from the FOMC that the shutdown would weigh on the economy, such that a tapering announcement would be pushed back even further.

This omission from the statement, along with subsequent economic data releases that largely suggested the economy shrugged off the shutdown in October, has brought a tapering announcement at either the December or January meetings back into the discussion.

Today's release of the minutes of the October meeting could shed more light on how close the FOMC is to tapering.

We will have the full text of the minutes LIVE at 2 PM ET. Click here to refresh for the latest updates »

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