In voting unanimously to continue reining in its monetary stimulus, the
Federal Reserve this week made it clear that its focus is squarely on
the U.S. economy, even if its decisions add to the current pressure
being felt in emerging markets.
The Federal Reserve holds its first meeting of 2014 next week, and it’s
likely to be an eventful gathering. It will be Ben Bernanke’s final days
as Fed chairman before handing over the gavel to Janet Yellen, the first
woman to hold that position, and the policymakers are expected to trim
another $10 billion from the Fed’s monthly bond-buying program.
Just when the Federal Reserve thought it was safe to start slowly
dialing back its monetary stimulus program, out comes a surprisingly
weak December jobs report that raises questions about how sturdy the
economy actually is.