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Why the Fed Was Late to Its Own Party

Wednesday, 21 Sep 2011 | 4:31 PM ET

On one of the most highly anticipated Fed days we had a perfect "low tech" storm.

A five page statement from the FOMC when normally it is just two pages long. And then the copier in the press room at the Treasury Department jammed several times, about every thirty copies or about every two minutes.

The last page had only two sentences but had to be taken to another copier to complete the process.

Sitting next to the copy machine, anxiety level rising with each interruption, I was glad that I had taken my blood pressure pills. Once the copies were ready and distributed to everyone in the room we started to read. Normally, journalists are given ten minutes to digest the news but because of the copier delay we were given just eight minutes to prepare to report. Reporters from news outlets all over the world were sweating knowing that folks outside the lock-up were "going nuts" wondering why we were so late.

In my fifteen plus years of reporting on "Fed Day" for CNBC I can only recall one other time where we had a copier problem. But on that day, there wasn't headline news with a major change in Fed policy on the line.

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