This week, the casual observer could come to the conclusion that the Fed wants to phase out printing additional money. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Minutes to be released this Wednesday might strike a comparatively optimistic tone. The only caveat being that the FOMC meeting statement included the language: "The Committee continues to see downside risks to the economic outlook"⊃1; which may be elaborated on in the Minutes.
Since then, even historically dovish⊃2; members of the FOMC have presented a view in public speeches that the Fed might gradually phase out printing more money. This suggests that the Minutes will have a broad discussion of such a gradual "exit," even if a phasing out of additional monetary easing can hardly be characterized as such. Later in the day on Wednesday, two "hawkish" Fed Presidents are scheduled to give speeches. Taken together, investors might be excused to think an "exit" might be coming closer.
But in many ways, those Minutes are rather dated. Most notably, last Friday's payroll report suggested the economy may be sputtering once again. That, in turn, suggests the printing press should keep running at high speed. "Printing" is figurative, as the Fed creates money out of thin air, through the stroke of a keyboard, crediting the accounts of large banks in return for buying Treasury and Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS).
Will the printing presses in the rest of the world influence the Fed back home? Not reflected in the Minutes is the new era in Japan, where the Bank of Japan has promised it will do "whatever it takes" to beat deflation ...