The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to push out the date that it expects economic conditions to warrant keeping rates exceptionally low. In November, the FOMC said it expected to keep rates low until the middle of 2013. In today’s statement, the FOMC said it expects late 2014 to be the earliest economic conditions could improve such that it might raise rates. This is much more lax than I was expecting, but we’ll get more information later today when the FOMC releases its forecasts for economic indicators and fed policy rates. I think the Fed is going to do everything it can to stoke the flames of the economy without igniting inflation. If there is a slowdown in the economy, the Fed is likely to engage in a third round of quantitative easing. This should, in general, reflate (that is, fill up with air) asset prices.