"Watchful waiting" enters central banking lingo

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard appears to have coined a new central banking term.

By calling for "watchful waiting", Brainard expressed her preference for postponing any further US interest-rate increases until the Fed gets better clarity on the economy .

"Recent developments reinforce the case for watchful waiting," Brainard said in response to questions from The Wall Street Journal.

The European Central Bank used to "monitor closely" when it was not yet ready to pull the tigger on a rate move. Other central banks tend to speak about taking "a wait-and-see" posture when they assess incoming economic data for additional clues about the need to act.

Fed's Brainard now comes up with a largely medical term of "watchful waiting" (it describes an approach in which time is allowed to pass before medical intervention or therapy is used).

Still, Greenspan's "irrational exuberance", which the ex-Fed Chairman concieved while taking a bath, remains the most remembered central banking phrase to date in my view.