It was good times at the Federal Reserve
five years ago: Low interest rates instituted by then-Fed Chief Alan Greenspan
had housing prices booming, the stock market was rising and Fed members
were—literally—laughing their way to the...well, central bank. History shows they may have been laughing a bit too hard.
what may be the strangest market indicator ever, a blogger found that
the amount of laughter recorded in the official transcripts of Federal
Reserve Open Market Committee meetings from 2000 to 2006 correlates
almost perfectly with the rise in housing prices taking place at the
A particular series of side-splitting meetings by the central bank in 2006 marked the very top of the housing bubble.
The blog, The Daily Stag Hunt
tracked the times “laughter” was recorded by the Fed’s stenographer
during the FOMC meetings. In 2001, the FOMC averaged 16.5 moments of guffaws per meeting
. In 2006, there were, on average, 44 outbreaks of laughter.