In 1999, the stock market was experiencing a bubble, which as most people know, popped, and caused many stock market speculators to lose money. During the time leading up to the crash, the Fed chairman did not publicly acknowledge the bubble. However, according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, the Fed was aware of the bubble in 1999.
Federal Reserve meeting minutes are released to the public after a five-year lag, so minutes from a December 1999 meeting have recently become available. The documents show that there were individuals at the Federal Reserve well aware of the existence of the stock market bubble. They chose not to make any formal announcement.
An article by Bill Fleckenstein on MSN Money brought this to my attention. If we can’t trust the Fed to admit there was a stock market bubble, why would we trust them to acknowledge a real estate bubble? The MSN article goes into further detail.
Most people probably don’t need the Federal Reserve to tell them when there is a bubble and when there is not, but the issue is that what is said in private doesn’t match what is said in public.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published March 14, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @flexo on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.