News of the latest taper in the pace of monthly bond buying by the US Federal Reserve was barely noticed by investors, policy makers and newspapers in India. Compare that with the panic that set in when Ben Bernanke first hinted around a year ago that the US central bank would begin to exit its extraordinary monetary policy, or quantitative easing.

The Fed will cut its bond buying by another $10 billion in May—despite latest data showing how US economic growth was flat in the first three months of 2014. This means policymakers in that country believe that the growth stutter was more due to the unusually cold weather this year rather than any underlying weakness in economic activity.

It seems by current trends that the US Fed will stop expanding its bloated balance sheet by December. The next year could even see the first moves to push up interest rates. Will the transition be as painless as many in the financial markets now seem to believe?

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