Markets have been obsessed with the timing of the dreaded 'taper' for most of 2013, but according to Wells Capital's Jim Paulsen, the real focus shouldn't be on timing, but on whether the Fed will conduct a controlled taper or a 'panic taper.'
All eyes are on the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Wednesday and an increasing number of analysts are expecting them to act this week. But Paulsen, who is chief investment strategist of the $350 billion investment firm, told CNBC that the market's obsession with timing was misguided.
"I think tapering will start on Wednesday…. [But] I don't think [tapering] is as big an event as we make it out to be, whether they do it now, or in January, or in March, I think the markets well anticipate there is going to tapering here pretty soon," Paulsen told CNBC.
(Read more: Why the Fed won't taper in December: Goldman Sachs)
"The real issue is not when they will start to taper, it's whether the taper be voluntary by the Fed and controlled on their timetable, or whether it be accelerated and forced upon the Fed as the year moves along and the economic data becomes too strong or inflation raises its head," he said.
According to Paulsen one of the bigger risks for U.S. central bankers would be if money velocity – which is the rate at which money is exchanged from one transaction to another – speeds up more quickly than expected, forcing the Fed to accelerate the process of tapering.