Read MoreFed discussed rate hike procedures, no action soon
That could help undermine the position of a central bank that badly needs the market's confidence if it is to have any chance to unwind a nearly $4.4 trillion balance sheet and a historically lengthy time period of basement-level interest rates.
"It's not that I don't have faith in the Fed or think these are not some of the smartest economists out there. This is unprecedented territory," said Lindsey M. Piegza, chief economist at Sterne Agee. "It's going to be very difficult to understand those unintended consequences on the back end of these policies. ...That confusion of how to unwind these unprecedented policies says to me there's going to be a lot of volatility, a lot of missteps."
Others in the market share the sentiment that while the Fed may not be driving blind, it doesn't have a particularly clear road map, either. One worry is that a combined heat-up in the economy will combine with inflation to force the Fed to raise rates before it would like.
Goldman Sachs in particular released a paper Thursday suggesting that the "neutral" rate often discussed by Fed officials—or the Fed funds rate that would be appropriate to ensure normal economic growth—is wrong. Central bank governors expect this rate to remain low for some time, reasoning that the economy continues to heal slowly from the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.
Goldman economists, though, contend that the Fed is actually too pessimistic about growth prospects.
Read More4 reasons US is recovering, leaving the rest behind
"Our results suggest that the neutral rate might well normalize relatively quickly as the headwinds fade and the economic recovery begins to firm," Sven Jari Stehn wrote in a report for clients. "The latter would appear at odds with the FOMC's view that the neutral funds rate will remain depressed for years to come despite a healthy economic recovery."
The view is an interesting one in that the Fed for years has badly miscalculated economic growth—but on the optimistic side. It projected as recently as 2011, for instance, that gross domestic product growth in 2013 would be in the 3.7 percent o 4.6 percent range, when the actual print was 1.9 percent. Similar trends have continued throughout the recovery from the recession that ended in 2009.
The Fed's most recent projections are for GDP to grow in the 3 percent range for the next few years, yet it sees a need to keep its funds rate around zero.
Despite the Fed's hopes of continued low rates, the reality could see market structure get away from the Fed's actions.