For all the prior forecasting we're on new ground and the wise and the weary are working out what it all means
Here's some of the early reactions so far
Wells Fargo reportedly became the first to raise their prime rate (benchmark lending rate) to 3.5%. Banks don't often move that quick on rate changes. The fact rates are going up will obviously mean they'll be quicker to keep that margin. They won't be changing their standard deposit rate though, so savers are out of luck
"The Fed raised rates today for the first time since 2006, lifting the funds rate target range to 0.25-0.50%. The interest rate forecast "dots" came down, but only slightly. The statement was generally dovish in tone. In particular the FOMC stated that "In light of the current shortfall of inflation from 2 percent, the Committee will carefully monitor actual and expected progress toward its inflation goal." In view of its forecast of inflation this implied "only gradual increases" in the funds rate. In fact, "gradual" was noted twice in the statement."
"Decision was largely expected by markets and telegraphed by the Fed in recent weeks. Therefore, we expect markets to focus on forward-looking matters, including the anticipated pace of tightening, the updated set of economic projections, and the overall tone of today's communications. While much of this messaging will come in the press conference to follow, the statement does speak to the committee's expectation that the rate hike path will be gradual."
"December post-meeting communique struck an upbeat tone with respect to the economic outlook. For example, the December statement repeated that household and business spending "have been increasing at solid rates" while the labour market has improved further. The inflation language noted that market-based measures "remain low" and survey-based measures "edged down". This latter is important because it tells us the Fed is slightly more concerned
about inflation expectations."
"The FOMC also said that that reinvestment of maturing securities will continue "until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way." Separately, the Fed announced details of the ON RPP program. Each counterparty is capped at $30 bln and all holdings of Treasuries are available apart from what the Feds deems they need for other
operations. So, the program could get as big as "around $2 trillion." Bottom line: The normalization process has begun, but policy rates are still going to be "low" for a very long time."
MNI picked up on a treasury trader picking up the Fed's comments on the RRR;
"big surprise" was in the NY Fed implementation note following FOMC outcome. "The Fed is not capping the reverse repo facility: they will only limit the RRP to the amount of Tsys in the Fed
SOMA Facility," he added. "So, that puts a harder floor on the bottom range of the new target," he said. Others also are saying the RRPs could hit the US$2Trln limit."
That might get some attention in the hours days ahead