In these turbulent financial times, keeping up with scheduled Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting dates is important, reminds Grumpy Editor.
Investors, seeking clues on the direction of interest rates, focus on actions and wording in statements of FOMC’s 12 members headed by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.
Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables. That includes employment, output, prices of goods and services plus, of course, the stock market.
During the months ahead, many business and financial stories will mention upcoming Fed action. Yet, for some strange reason, many writers tend to bury or not pinpoint actual dates of FOMC meetings in advance.
Sometimes they come close with “next week” or “next month.”
With one more 2008 FOMC meeting set for Dec. 16, Grumpy Editor, for easy reference, lists the eight scheduled 2009 meetings, including three two-day sessions:
• Jan. 27 and 28
• March 17
• April 28 and 29
• June 23 and 24
• Aug. 11
• Sept. 22
• Nov. 3 and 4
• Dec. 15
Following the meetings (or at the end of two-day gatherings), statements are released to media around 2:15 p.m., Eastern time.
Grumpy Editor’s end-of-week leftover notes:
Happy Halloween! In keeping with the “spirit” of the seasonal scary event, users of iPhone or iPod Touch today can easily extend ghoulish entertainment in the devices to the midnight hour and beyond with a “scary” program. Called Halloween Experience (downloaded from the iTunes App Store for under $1), it offers all the spooky things --- plus haunting music, games and virtual pumpkin creation --- associated with the annual observance…The twice-monthly Santa Fe, N.M.-based Sun News this week came out with a pre-election headline proclaiming Barack Obama winner in the presidential race. It prompted the daily Las Cruces Sun-News, citing no affiliation with the other publication, to declare, “Folks, it’s not us…we do not have those predictive powers”…The New York Observer reports that all Condé Nast publishers and editors, including those on Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Glamour and Wired, have been told to cut staffs and budgets by five percent within weeks…CNBC, NBC’s business news cable channel, reports the economic crisis and stock market action resulted in its best ever ratings in total viewers in October…CNN, another cable network, is wooing newspaper editors as it prepares to launch CNN Wire to compete with Associated Press…Geography lessons required? In material five days apart, staffers at The Wall Street Journal messed up in geographic locations. One writer referred to Pennsylvania as being in the Midwest rather than a Middle Atlantic state. In the other, a chart placed a Mayo Clinic in Rochester, N.Y. instead of Rochester, Minn.