Tags: Fed | Plosser | Slow | Bond Buying

Fed's Plosser: Easing Hasn't Been That Helpful to Job Market

Thursday, 09 May 2013 09:50 AM

The Federal Reserve should slow its massive asset purchase program, a senior Fed official said on Thursday, saying he wasn't sure how much the central bank's easy policy was helping the struggling labor market.

"I'd like to stop but I would particularly like to see us begin to slow the pace down, gradually ease our way out of this if we possibly can," Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser said on Bloomberg Television, answering a question about an exit from the Fed's easing.

The Fed is buying $85 billion each month in Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities in a bid to bring unemployment closer to 6.5 percent from its current 7.5 percent.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

But that easing has come under fire recently from analysts and investors who say that the bond buying distorts the market and masks the build-up of sovereign debt.

"I've never felt that our asset purchases have been that effective in addressing what's the biggest problem we face in this country, which is the employment market and the labor market," Plosser said.

The transmission of that easing to the jobs market is "dubious," added Plosser, a longtime skeptic of the Fed's extraordinary easy monetary policies.

Investors have begun speculating as to when the Fed could slow or stop its asset purchases.

But economic data have been mixed, with disappointing figures occasionally sprinkled in among better-than-expected figures. That has clouded the outlook for when the Fed could exit its extraordinary measures.

Plosser also said it is “disturbing” to him that “more and more is being expected" of central banks.

“We are expected to solve all the world’s problems,” Plosser said. “Our fiscal authorities are not doing a very good job in any country.”

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

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