Probably the biggest thing the U.S. government has been doing to stimulate our economy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and recession has been something called "quantitative easing". It is pretty much the practice of the Fed buying bonds from the Treasury to stimulate the economy.
Those bonds are sold to give our government more operating cash, to either pay bills coming due or spend the money on necessary services and/or projects that our leaders believe will be stimulative to the economy. Sometimes, like I understand is the case now, the Federal Reserve actually prints new paper money with which to make the purchases. The risk is inflation in the future, but such risk is taken with the intention that the short-term stimulus effects are worth the risk.
Now the economy is growing. Slowly and not necessarily surely, but measurably and postively. The Fed is thus in the middle of tapering the Quantitative Easing, creating a glidepath to ending QE (it had been buying $85 billion worth of bonds every month).
But last week one normally hawkish Fed big shot was surprisingly outspoken--and dovish. He said the Fed would not necessarily end QE as planned, impying that the Fed would help the securities markets if need be (we were in a market decline last week, and he is thought to have been speaking to that matter with intent of reassuring investors)... Word is, though, that most of his peers (including those with a vote on the matter, which I believe this one fellow does not have) intend to end QE for sure.
In short, the nFed is said to be on track to end QE, even if one of its members may have spoken his opion of what should be done instead of saying what the Fed will do.
Bill O'Grady (not Bill Gross--I cite each pretty often and want to be clear: O'Grady is the global investment strategist/thinker, Gross is the manager of bond portfolios and mutual funds) writes today about this. See the second and third paragraphs in the item linked here: http://confluenceinvestment.com/assets/docs/2014/daily_Oct_20_2014.pdf
Okay, I wanted you to know the basics in case it is not clear. I hope it helps. Please contact me with any questions. Thank you.
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