NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Masterful or misguided? Either word applies to the Federal Reserve's policy statement yesterday, depending on who's describing it.
The Fed didn't raise rates yet but basically said it will do just that, and now the only question seems to be, sooner or later?
Those who find the policy statement masterful like the fact that the Fed managed to make even clearer the fact that rate hikes are inevitable, but managed to soothe market fears of a big, fast push up in rates by saying the pace of rate hikes would be "measured."
Those who find the statement "misguided" argue that the Fed is fiddling while the monetary fires of inflation burn higher and higher.
This means that instead of being able to move slowly and gradually, at some point they WILL have to make a big push up in rates and that WILL cause the financial market upset they are trying to avoid.
The Fed is clearly being cautious and giving itself wiggle room so that just in case the economy is still moving in fits and starts, and jobs aren't growing, it doesn't have to hike rates right away.
Or, even if it does hike them soon, it won't have to embark on a steady series.
Masterful or misguided? Time and the economy will tell.
Kathleen Hays anchors CNN Money Morning and The FlipSide, airing Monday to Friday on CNNfn. As part of CNN's Business News team, she also contributes to Lou Dobbs Tonight.