The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

How will the Fed get off its Tiger?

James Saft Great Debate -- James Saft is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

The Federal Reserve and U.S. economy have two considerable risks now that quantitative easing is at hand: keeping the dollar from a disorderly decline and figuring out how to dismount from the tiger.

The Fed has cut interest rates to a range of zero to 0.25 percent and said it would use "all available tools" to get the economy growing again, including buying mortgage debt as well as exploring direct purchases of Treasuries.

While the central bank was at pains to distance its policy from Japan's during its extended downturn, there can be no doubt that the dollar printing presses are and have been running and will pump out as much currency as is needed to avoid deflation and make credit available at a stimulative rate.

There is no question of the Fed not being able to re-ignite inflation in the U.S. economy; if they print money fast enough, prices will go up. The issue is more about the collateral damage possible when a major debtor nation takes these steps, even if it is doing it for all the right reasons in support of the best possible cause.