It’s somewhat peculiar how “Fed speak” is interpreted. From the days of Greenspan’s “behind the cloak” talk that seemed to both answer and not answer the very same question to fund managers who pore through every speech in the current market, it’s always a challenge to figure out what the Fed willfed to keep rates low do at the next round of meetings. And today it was no different.

 For months now, as the economy continues to add a decent amount of jobs each month and the unemployment rate has fallen, the Fed has sent signals as to when the current QE program will end. This program has been around in some fashion since 2009 and today consists of buying $85 billion each and every month a combination of treasury bonds and mortgage backed securities. These massive purchases keep the price up for these instruments which in turn keeps rates low. The concern has been “What happens when they stop the stimulus?”

Last summer, the Fed clearly stated that the $85 per month program would end when the unemployment rate hit 6.5 percent. Later it was discovered that the Fed’s own economists suggested that might not be the best target and a lower rate would be necessary. Today’s Fed announcement stated that the 6.5 percent rate target will be lowered to something closer to 6.00 percent.

At the same time, the long awaited “tapering” announcement, where the Fed decides not to cancel the stimulus program but to gradually pull back from it. A tapering, not an ending. Today the Fed did say they taper would start but only by $10 billion per month. “Only” $10 billion sounds a bit absurd but compared to the $85 per month binge, it’s really not that drastic of a cut back.

So what does that mean? It means that the current low interest rate environment should last until at least next summer. It’s about all we can interpret at this stage.