I thought the markets were supposed to be smart? Fed Sees Action if Growth Doesn't Pick Up Soon The Wall Street JournalBy Jon Hilsenrath | The Wall Street Journal â 3 minutes 53 seconds ago Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy's sluggish growth and high unemployment, are moving closer to taking new steps to spur activity and hiring. Since their June policy meeting, officials have made clearâin interviews, speeches and testimony to Congressâthat they find the current state of the economy unacceptable. Many officials appear increasingly inclined to move unless they see evidence soon that activity is picking up on its own. Amid the recent wave of disappointing economic news, conversation inside the Fed has turned more intensely toward the questions of how and when to move. Central-bank officials could take new steps at their meeting next week, July 31 and Aug. 1, though they might wait until their September meeting to accumulate more information on the pace of growth and job gains before deciding whether to act. [More from WSJ.com: Apple v. Samsung: The Patent Trial of the Century] Fed officials could take some actions in combination or one after another. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in testimony to Congress last week, listed several options under consideration, including a new program of buying mortgage-backed or Treasury securities, new commitments to keep short-term interest rates near zero beyond 2014 or an effort to push already-low benchmark short-term interest rates even lower.