The ‘taper tantrum’ of May and June, as the mid-year spike in interest rates became known, appears to have humbled Federal Reserve officials into having a second look at their convictions about the power of forward guidance on interest rate policy.
Take James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Fed. He acknowledged on Friday that the Fed’s view of the separation between rates guidance and asset purchases had not been fully accepted by financial markets. “This presents challenges for the Committee,” he noted.
Richard Fisher, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve and one of the U.S. central bank’s arch inflation hawks, took us by surprise this week – he told Reuters that, given all the uncertainty generated by the government shutdown, it would not be prudent for the Fed to reduce its bond-buying stimulus this month.
“It is just too tender a moment,” he said. That was on Tuesday, before a last-minute deal averted a debt default but set up additional uncertainty by pushing the statutory spending cap into February.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ben Bernanke spent his whole life training for the job of Fed chairman – even if he didn’t know it at the time.
One of the Great Depression’s most prominent scholars, Bernanke inherited a historic slump of his own not long after taking the helm of the Federal Reserve eight years ago.
Federal Reserve officials have largely acknowledged by now that leading markets to believe the central bank would reduce its bond buying stimulus in September and then failing to do so was a communications blunder.
For Zach Pandl, a former Goldman economist now at Columbia Management, this means the Fed may have to reshape its guidance to financial markets – even if the exact contours of the changes remain unclear.
, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve should
start reducing its asset purchase stimulus program as soon as
possible given that economic growth is already firm and will
become stronger next year, a top Fed official said on Tuesday.
Charles Plosser, president of the Philadelphia Fed, told a
local chamber of commerce meeting that he disagreed with the
central bank’s decision last month to hold off on reducing the
$85 billion current monthly pace of bond-buying.
BALTIMORE (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve could reduce the pace of its bond-buying stimulus despite a government shutdown that is preventing the release of key economic data, Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday.
He was speaking even as the Labor Department failed to release its monthly jobs report, the most widely watched global indicator, because of cost cuts related to the budget impasse and shuttering of government.
Now that Washington’s circus-like government shutdown has put a damper on hopes for stronger U.S. economic growth going into next year, dovish Federal Reserve officials again appear to have the upper hand in the way of policy commentary.
Take Eric Rosengren, the Boston Fed President who had been unusually quiet as the tapering debate gathered steam. In a speech in Vermont on Thursday, he returned to a familiar theme – the central bank still has plenty of firepower and should not be afraid to use it.
BUENOS AIRES, Oct 3 (Reuters) – A spike in shipping costs
and lower profits resulting from a series of union protests at
Argentina’s Rosario port, one of the world’s biggest grain
export centers, has raised concerns among the country’s
Strikes by powerful unions representing river pilots,
longshoremen and soy crushing workers have been frequent at the
port, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of Buenos Aires,
where some of the world’s top grain traders – such as Cargill
, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus – operate.
You have to give Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke credit for standing his ground on data-dependence. Despite widespread suspicions, including on this blog, that the central bank would begin reducing the pace of its bond-buying stimulus in September simply because the markets were expecting it, the Fed chose to hold off in the face of a still-fragile economy.
Here’s how Bernanke addressed the issue of the market’s surprise at the Fed’s decision at his press conference:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s effort to assure the public that interest rates will remain near zero for years could have the perverse effect of hurting confidence and damaging economic growth, a top Fed official said on Thursday.
Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, offered a conference in Stockholm a taste of his hawkish skepticism of the U.S. central bank’s unconventional monetary policies.