The very last page of minutes from May's Federal Open Market Committee meeting contained arguably the most important news — that changes were ahead for the central bank's bloated balance sheet.
It may have been no accident.
That's because policy makers likely are hoping to take the quietest path possible to unwind the $4.5 trillion portfolio of bonds it accumulated primarily in a post-financial crisis effort to boost economic growth.
The plan, awaited by financial markets for months or even years, was tucked into the minutes almost as an afterthought — nothing to see here, we'll just unwind the most ambitious stimulus effort in central banking history over here in the corner while the financial markets go on their happy way.
"They're very eager not to be a source of disruption or uncertainty," said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman. "The way the details appear on page 12 of the 12-page minutes, they're not trying to make too big a deal of it. They're projecting business as usual."
The balance sheet unwind, though, is very much not business as usual.
Rather, the process will seek to slowly and predictably undo years of quantitative easing, where the Fed engaged in three rounds of monthly bond buying that ended in 2014. The program generated important results, keeping interest rates low in the post-crisis environment and coinciding with the second-best bull run in stock market history — even if the results for the broader economy were considerably less robust.