The Fed announced that the target range for Fed funds would remain at 0% to 0.25%. This will suprise no one, given the weakness in the labor market, the rising political vulnerability of the President (who makes his State of the Union speech tonight), and recent questions about Bernanke’s reappointment prospects. Is the Fed funds rate really that susceptible to political factors? Probably not, but thinking that it might be is no longer beyond the pale. How it’s come to this isn’t easily explained, but it’s clear that insuring monetary policy remain independent of politics is as compelling as ever. Arguably the potential for politicizing the Fed is higher than at any time in recent memory. At the very least, there’s more confusion than usual.