In what came as a surprise to many, the Federal Reserve decided not to taper its asset purchase program this month. FOMC members cited weakness in incoming data, potential negative effects of fiscal gridlock in Washington, and rising interest rates as reasons for that conclusion. This leaves two meetings, October and December, in which changes to monetary policy could be made before, presumably, Ben Bernanke’s term as Fed Chairman will be over. Following a light pullback in August, equities mostly recouped those losses and further added to gains in September. Emerging market stocks, which have considerably lagged their developed market peers recently, reversed that trend posting their best monthly increase of the year. Interest rates moved lower off of yearly highs, with the 10 year treasury yield settling near 2.6% by month end. With monetary policy unchanged for the time being, market participants may now be turning their attention to an impending US government shutdown, as well as the debate over the debt ceiling, which will likely be reached by mid-October.