It’s official: we are tapering. The Fed announced today that it would reduce its QE3 bond-buying program from $85 billion per month to $75 billion per month.
So what does this mean? In a nutshell, markets will probably freak out temporarily. Econ pundits will write about a hundred thousand words today exploring every possible nuance of the decision. Ben Bernanke will tell everyone to calm down. In a day or two, there will be some news about the holiday buying season and the whole thing will be forgotten. Five years from now, there will be several doctoral dissertations about what it all really meant.
Substantively, though, this just isn’t that big a deal. You may now return to your regularly scheduled Obamacare bashing and/or defending.
UPDATE AT 11:12 AM: Apparently the Dow is up 100 points on the taper news. So markets don’t seem to be freaking out after all. If this holds, it will be the most quickly disproven prediction I’ve ever made, and yet another lesson that you should never make predictions. Will I ever learn?