The dissenting member
I have been an ardent Fed watcher since 1981, when I opened my first passbook savings account ( 15% interest! )
Lately - the Bernanke era - I have noticed that there is usually a dissenting member quoted in the FOMC minutes. The dissenting member's identity varies - briefly Yellin - Lacker did a nice turn - now Hoenig.
This is hard to quantify, but I have come to feel that as the dissenting member's comments and outside speeches become more strident, that they tend to telegraph the FOMC's eventual actions with about a 6-9 month lead - far longer and far more precise than any other leading indicator I'm aware of for predicting the actions of these Masters of the Universe.
I feel - and yes, this is just a hunch, I got nothin for you data hounds - that Hoenig, bless him, has pretty well hit that key level of stridency in the last couple weeks. So I'm calling for Fed Funds 0.50%+ sometime between May 1 and Sep 1, 2011.