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Looking for Fed clues? Forget about Jackson Hole

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 | 10:59 AM ET
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve.
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Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Investors looking for major clues about the future of monetary policy probably will have to look past this month's Federal Reserve summit at Jackson Hole, Wyo.

A leaked agenda for the central bank meeting, which is hosted by the Kansas City Fed and runs from Aug. 22 to Aug. 24, shows mostly routine business with little in the way of major policy speeches.

As expected, Chairman Ben Bernanke will not be attending. Vice Chairman Janet Yellen is slated only as a panelist and not as an individual speaker, according to a note from Bank of America Merrill Lynch reported on Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal.

How to trade the taper
With September right around the corner, the countdown to taper has begun. The FMHR traders focus on housing and retailers. CNBC's Steve Liesman joins to discuss what the Fed will be looking at this week, and Barry Knapp of Barclays shares his price target for S&P stocks.

(Read more: Almost everyone is misreading Fed's new QE study)

The Wyoming locale has offered varied levels of drama over the years, despite popular conceptions of central bankers as a dry bunch.

In 2003 and 2005 speakers presented papers critical of current policy—warnings later seen as accurate harbingers of the financial crisis that began to grip the economy in 2008.

But the biggest recent splash came in 2010, when most market participants believe Bernanke tipped his hand on the second round of quantitative easing—the Fed's bond-buying program that spurred a rush to risk assets. The S&P 500 is up nearly 60 percent since that speech.

(Read more: 'Fully priced and then some': Market break time?)

Such earth-shaking moves, though, seem unlikely this year.

The agenda includes such thrilling topics as:

The Natural Rate of Interest, Financial Crises and the Zero Lower Bound
The Transmission of Unconventional Monetary Policy
A panel discussion on "Monetary Policy Options and Tools"
Global Liquidity
Cross-Border Capital Flows

Not that these aren't important topics, but they're unlikely to be the stuff of which major investment decisions are made.

(Read more: Steady Fed: Printing presses to keep on rolling)

Stay tuned, then, for the September Open Markets Committee meeting.

By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him @JeffCoxCNBCcom on Twitter.

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