The Dissent that Wasn’t Voiced

“The most curious incident is the dog that didn’t bark.”

In Silver Blaze Sherlock Holmes noticed that a guard dog didn’t bark as expected, and this clue helped him solve the crime. Similarly, the most curious aspect of the latest Fed meeting is the governor who didn’t dissent.

Unlike the Greenspan era, in Bernake’s Fed dissent is a way of life. For the past year, one governor or two has disagreed with every Committee decision–and it’s been both hawks and doves. This is a Fed where spirited discussion rules, and the members aren’t afraid to vote their opinions.

But not this time. The current financial market turmoil must have convinced the members that they need to present a united front. This is both deeply concerning and encouraging. It’s concerning because it’s a big deal to get people who are in the habit of dissenting to vote unanimously. But it’s encouraging because this Fed is paying attention, and they seem to know how high the stakes are.


Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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