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Jan 14, 2013

Fed’s Lockhart: Open-ended bond buys not “infinite”

ATLANTA, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s
unconventional monetary stimulus has its limits, and could pose
threats to market functioning and financial stability if pushed
too far, Atlanta Fed Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on
Monday.

In another sign of growing reticence about the Fed’s
bond-buying quantitative easing program within the central bank,
Lockhart, seen as a policy centrist who tends to fall in line
with Chairman Ben Bernanke, said the open-ended approach to bond
buys does not mean there are no constraints on the policy.

Jan 14, 2013

Fed’s Lockhart: Open-ended bond buys are not “infinite” stimulus

ATLANTA (Reuters) – The Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary stimulus has its limits, and could pose threats to market functioning and financial stability if pushed too far, Atlanta Fed Bank President Dennis Lockhart said on Monday.

In another sign of growing reticence about the Fed’s bond-buying quantitative easing program within the central bank, Lockhart, seen as a policy centrist who tends to fall in line with Chairman Ben Bernanke, said the open-ended approach to bond buys does not mean there are no constraints on the policy.

Jan 11, 2013
via MacroScope

On fiscal ledge, corporate gain may be household’s pain

It doesn’t sound sustainable but, at least in coming months, businesses look set to keep booming even as consumers come under pressure – in line with the recent trend. That’s because the economic hit from the partial deal on the fiscal cliff will hurt salaried workers disproportionately, says Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho.

He writes:

Although the worst of the fiscal cliff has been avoided, the compromise is not macroeconomic neutral. Our calculations, in fact, suggest that the drag created by the reversal of the payroll tax cut and the various tax hikes on upper income households will cut real GDP by upwards of 0.5% to 1% from our preliminary 1.5% to 2% forecast.

Jan 9, 2013
via MacroScope

Big government kept a “contained depression” from being a Great one: Levy

David Levy says he is bullish on the U.S. economy long term. But for now, the country is effectively stuck in a “contained depression,” the chairman of the Jerome Levy Forecasting Center told Reuters during a recent visit to our Washington bureau.

Still, things could have been much worse, says the third generation economist. For Levy, the interventions of a large and proactive federal government prevented a repeat of the 1930s.

Jan 8, 2013
via MacroScope

Japan finally takes Bernanke-san’s advice – 10 years later

This post was based on reporting by Leika Kihara in Tokyo

Japan has crossed the monetary rubicon: the government is actively intervening in the affairs of the central bank, pressuring it to more aggressively tackle a prolonged bout of deflation and economic stagnation. The Bank of Japan is expected to discuss raising its inflation target from the current 1 percent level during its next rate decision on January 21-22.

Overnight, a Japanese newspaper reported the finance ministry and the central bank were considering signing a policy accord that would set as a common goal not just achieving 2 percent inflation but also steady job growth.

Jan 7, 2013
via MacroScope

Bond market prices Fed out – but just wait ‘til the debt ceiling

U.S. government bonds sold off last week following December Fed meeting minutes indicating growing doubts inside the central bank about the effectiveness of quantitative easing. Yields on benchmark 10-year notes hit an eight month high of 1.975 percent on Friday, in part as investors priced out some of the Fed asset purchases traders had been counting towards the end of 2013.

Other forces were also at work. Markets were relieved that the ‘fiscal cliff’-related expiration of Bush-era tax cuts had been circumvented, and encouraged by some moderately better U.S.economic data. The S&P 500 closed the first week of the year at its highest in five years.

Jan 4, 2013

Latest stimulus test limits of Fed’s credibility: Lacker

BALTIMORE (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest bond-buying stimulus plan threatens the central bank’s credibility and raises the risk of future inflation, Richmond Fed Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday.

Lacker, a vocal inflation hawk who dissented at every Fed policy meeting last year, held his ground on opposing the decision to purchase $85 billion per month in mortgage and Treasury bonds until the employment outlook improves.

Jan 4, 2013

Lacker says latest stimulus test limits of Fed’s credibility

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Reserve’s latest bond-buying stimulus plan threatens the central bank’s credibility and raises the risk of future inflation, Richmond Fed Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday.

Lacker, a vocal inflation hawk who dissented at every Fed policy meeting last year, held his ground on opposing the decision to purchase $85 billion per month in mortgage and Treasury bonds until the employment outlook improves.

Jan 4, 2013
via MacroScope

Revenge of the Fed hawks – sort of

Gabriel Debenedetti contributed to this post

Federal Reserve officials appear to be getting cold feet. Having just announced an open-ended bond buying program in September and then broadening it in December, minutes from last month’s policy meeting suggested an increasing caution about additional monetary stimulus among the Federal Open Market Committee’s core of voting members.

Several (members) thought that it would probably be appropriate to slow or to stop purchases well before the end of 2013, citing concerns about financial stability or the size of the balance sheet.

Jan 4, 2013

Fed becoming worried about stimulus side effects

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve officials are increasingly concerned about the potential risks of the U.S. central bank’s asset purchases on financial markets, even if they look set to continue an open-ended stimulus program for now.

In a surprise to Wall Street, minutes from the Fed’s December policy meeting, published on Thursday, showed a growing reticence about further increases in the central bank’s $2.9 trillion balance sheet, which it expanded sharply in response to the financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009.

    • About Pedro

      "Pedro da Costa has been covering economics and financial markets since 2001. He is currently based in Washington and focuses on the Federal Reserve and macroeconomic policy. Da Costa earned a Master's in international relations at the University of California San Diego and studied sociology and political science as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics. He grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil."
      Joined Reuters:
      2001
      Languages:
      English, Portuguese, Spanish, French
      Awards:
      2011 Deadline Club Award from the Society of Professional Journalists' New York Chapter
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