The Federal Open Market Committee’s policy statements are straightforward, if you have read enough of them to understand the lingo. If you need help, here is Bankrate.com’s translation.

As expected, the Fed cut the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to bring it to 2 percent, and it looks as though the Committee is ready to pause. Translation of the Fed’s statement is contributed by Joseph Nader, economist and managing partner at Zenith Capital Partners in Coral Gables, Fla.

What the Fed said What the Fed meant
FED:

Recent information indicates that economic activity remains weak. Household and business spending has been subdued and labor markets have softened further. Financial markets remain under considerable stress, and tight credit conditions and the deepening housing contraction are likely to weigh on economic growth over the next few quarters.
Translation:

It’s bad enough to say it and to say it with that kind of specificity. By saying it they want the markets to know that they are aware that it’s not just a financial sector situation, it’s not just a housing sector situation; that we’re having an effect in the broader economy as the result of the financial sector, as the result of housing, as the result of unemployment.
FED:

Although readings on core inflation have improved somewhat, energy and other commodity prices have increased, and some indicators of inflation expectations have risen in recent months. The Committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters, reflecting a projected leveling-out of energy and other commodity prices and an easing of pressures on resource utilization. Still, uncertainty about the inflation outlook remains high. It will be necessary to monitor inflation developments carefully.
Translation:

Inflation is clearly something we’re all concerned about. The interpretation of the Consumer Price Index with respect to Main Street has been that inflation feels higher on Main Street than the government numbers represent. They are also saying that inflation is not under control, that there is something to be worried about on the inflation front. However, they think that the component of inflation with respect to energy should not be the overwhelming upward force in inflation that we’ve seen in the last couple months. I think what they’re probably underestimating is the food component that is noticeably affecting Main Street.
FED:

The substantial easing of monetary policy to date, combined with ongoing measures to foster market liquidity, should help to promote moderate growth over time and to mitigate risks to economic activity. The Committee will continue to monitor economic and financial developments and will act as needed to promote sustainable growth and price stability.
Translation:

This is part of jawboning. That is their forward-looking proactive type of statement that says they’re aware, they think they’re doing what needs to be done. They think that what they’re doing is going to have a positive effect in the quarters to come and asking people to have faith in the broader markets.
FED:

Voting for the FOMC monetary policy action were: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; Timothy F. Geithner, Vice Chairman; Donald L. Kohn; Randall S. Kroszner; Frederic S. Mishkin; Sandra Pianalto; Gary H. Stern; and Kevin M. Warsh. Voting against were Richard W. Fisher and Charles I. Plosser, who preferred no change in the target for the federal funds rate at this meeting.
Translation:

Two voting members of the rate committee wanted no rate cut at all.
FED:

In a related action, the Board of Governors unanimously approved a 25-basis-point decrease in the discount rate to 2-1/4 percent. In taking this action, the Board approved the requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Cleveland, Atlanta, and San Francisco.
Translation:

The discount rate, which is what the Fed charges on direct loans to member banks, is cut by a quarter-point, too.