Fed to Unemployed: Drop Dead

When I read this headline at the Washington Post:

Federal Reserve weighs steps to offset slowdown in economic recovery

I was encouraged. Hey, at least someone is thinking about doing something. But then I read further into the article and saw phrases like “modest steps” and “not imminent.” As it turns out, the ideas under consideration are modest indeed:

One pro-growth strategy would be to strengthen language in Fed policy statements that the central bank’s interest rate target is likely to remain “exceptionally low” for an “extended period.” The policymakers could change that wording to effectively commit to keeping rates near zero for even longer than investors now expect.

They might strengthen the language in their policy statements! That oughta do it! In fairness, there are a couple of other ideas under consideration that are a bit more concrete, but not, unfortunately, much more ambitious. For now, anyway, it looks like no one thinks the economy is in bad enough shape to actually bother doing anything about it.