Whatever the reasons, and whomever is to blame, what is clear is that the Fed and the market have been out of sync over the last two major Fed announcements in June and September
It seems more and more that there is a communications breakdown even while the Federal Reserve is saying more than it ever has.
In 2005, the last year of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's tenure, the average Federal Open Market Committee statement contained just 167 words. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke increased that number to a point where in 2011 and 2012 the statement ran about 420 words on average.
In 2013, statements became increasingly verbose as policy became more complicated and caveats on policies were threaded in to appease different FOMC factions. Some members who were more concerned about inflation got a line in the statement; others were worried that the committee was not correctly taking account of the costs of its policies. They got a line too. The average statement this year ran 600 words. Wednesday's statement hit 721 words.
(Read more: No taper! Did Bernanke fool the Street?)
And yet, the market seems more and more blindsided by policy.
Markets were clearly not prepared in June when Bernanke announced a virtual timetable for tapering "later this year," and "ending purchases around mid-year" 2014.
The 10-year benchmark, at around 2.18 on the day of the June 18 meeting, would begin a surge at 2 p.m. that afternoon that would bring it up as high as 3 percent earlier this month. Within a week of the June meeting, the Dow Jones industrial average would shed more than 4 percent before clawing back the losses, losing them again and rebounding.
Fast-forward to Wednesday's meeting, with the market largely expecting a taper. This time the bears got caught offside but for some it was more than a five-yard penalty. The 10-year yield shed nearly 20 basis points in an hour and stocks took off.
(Read more: No taper brings back talk of currency war)
It's hard to say definitively that more words lead to more volatility and more surprises. But the added words to the statement reflect a more complicated policy and a more difficult political dynamic on the board. Bernanke has struggled to keep the committee together and dissents to a minimum as the committee has plowed revolutionary ground on monetary policy. The statement must now explain two separate tools for guiding the economy—quantitative easing and interest rates—and there is separate guidance for each.
But it's worth considering if the added complexity of policy and the politics it engenders on the committee has simply made it harder for the Fed to make itself understood and for markets to price its understanding correctly.
In addition, fast-moving events and data may have combined with a failure of leading Fed officials to speak about them. There was notably no major speech from the chairman at the Jackson Hole, Wyo., conference this year because he did not attend. And markets had not heard from Bernanke and other leading Fed officials since the disappointing August jobs report, which appeared to loom large in their decision Wednesday.
And while the Fed has long been concerned about the potential effects of a government shutdown or debt ceiling debate in the fall, only in the past two weeks has the situation in Washington appeared to deteriorate. So, in part, the market appears to have failed to price in those events and the Fed failed to give ample warning to markets about how much the events mattered.
—By CNBC's Steve Liesman. Follow him on Twitter: @steveliesman