The Federal Reserve is committed to enticing Americans into doing once again what worked out so badly in the last decade: spending the phony paper gains engineered by overly loose monetary policy.
That, at least, is the very strong impression given by a speech by Brian Sack, the markets chief of the New York Federal Reserve, a man whose job it will be to implement the second round of large-scale quantitative easing coming after the elections in November.
A round of speeches from key Fed officials has given the clear view that, faced with deteriorating conditions and trapped by the lower bound of zero in its monetary policy, the Fed is preparing to once again buy up large amounts of Treasuries, perhaps even more than the government is issuing on an ongoing basis, in an attempt to drive down market interest rates and stimulate the economy.
Will that do any good, given that people generally do not want to borrow and the banking system is impaired?
“Balance sheet policy can still lower longer-term borrowing costs for many households and businesses, and it adds to household wealth by keeping asset prices higher than they otherwise would be,” Sack said in a speech in Newport Beach, California on Monday.