Last Real Week Of Year

There’s lots going on next week. We’ve got CPI data and earnings from Goldman and Morgan, but it seems likely that the Fed will be the big market mover, next week. And the direction could be surprising.

The Federal Open Market Committee is widely expected to cut benchmark U.S. interest rates by at least half a percentage point from the current 1 percent at next week's two-day policy meeting.

On Fast Money Mike Darda, MKM Partners Chief Economist tells us the Fed funds rate could go down to 0.25%

However, as we first told you on Thursday, there’s a movement at hand to prevent the cuts or make them smaller than that.

Though the financial crisis still weighs heavily on the economy, these "don't cut" advocates argue that conditions have stabilized since the central bank twice cut interest rates by half a percentage point in October.

"Cutting interest rates is now like pushing on a string. You won't get much impact," says Mohamed El-Erin, chief executive officer at the giant bond firm PIMCO.

A New Approach

That leaves many on Wall Street wondering what other tricks Bernanke has up his sleeve. (After all, there’s not a lot more to cut not matter how you slice it.)

"Most people will not be looking at the monetary policy of the Fed next week but what the Fed is willing and able to do on the unorthodox side," Mohamed El-Erin says.

Strategists doubt the Fed will lay out a specific plan for alternative policy in the statement released at the end of its meeting on Monday and Tuesday. Even so, the statement is sure to draw even more attention than usual as a conduit to the Fed's current thinking.

Mike Darda probably sums it up best. He says, “it could be rough sledding for a while.”

What do you think? We want to know!

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Trader disclosure: On Dec. 12th, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (BTU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Najarian Owns (FCX); Najarian Owns (DRYS) And Is Short (DRYS) Calls; Najarian Owns (NUE) And Is Short (NUE) Calls; Najarian Owns (UYG) Calls; Najarian Owns (XHB) Calls; Finerman's Firm Owns (DSX), (MSFT), (UNH), (IBB); Finerman's Firm Is Short (USO), (BBT), (COF), (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (IWM); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (BAC), (F), (INTC), (MER); Seygem Asset Management Owns (EEM)