The U.S. Federal Reserve has a zombie problem.
Each year, the Fed sets the course of monetary policy at eight regularly scheduled meetings of its Federal Open Market Committee. Chair Janet Yellen holds a press briefing after only four of them.
Fed watchers widely believe that when policy meetings aren’t followed by a Yellen news conference (as the upcoming meeting on Nov. 1-2 won’t be), the Fed is unlikely to take any significant action. So the press-conference meetings are viewed as “live” and the non-press-conference meetings are viewed as “dead.”
Of course, policymakers insist that all meetings are live, but that’s just viewed as another less-than-credible statement from the Fed.