When the minutes were released on Thursday from the December policy setting meeting, 10-year Treasury yields spiked to eight-month highs, the dollar rose and gold fell as investors feared that the Fed would end its purchases of bonds sooner than had been anticipated. These purchases have been adding
But Hatzius noted that not every member on the Fed's policy making decisions has the same amount of influence. "What the chairman thinks, what the leadership thinks isn't reflected in the minutes," he said.
In September, the Fed linked its bond buying program to unemployment, pledging to continue the scheme until the U.S. jobless rate fell below 6.5 percent. But Hatzius said "the Fed's made it pretty clear that they're not going to be focused exclusively on the 6.5 percent unemployment number."
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The bigger concern for the economy in 2013 is fiscal policy and the potential impact higher payroll taxes will have on consumer spending. "It's about $125 billion that's no longer going to be going to the consumer," he said of the 2 percent increase. "The January and February data on consumer spending and auto sales are going to be important because we'll get a much better sense of how big an impact it will have."