Tags: Bullard | Fed | Needs | Breather | Bond | Buyback | Program

Bullard: Fed Needs Breather from Bond Buyback Program

Tuesday, 01 Mar 2011 08:26 AM

The Federal Reserve should take a break from its $600 billion bond buyback program, known as quantitative easing, to see if the plan is working properly, says St. Louis Fed President James Bullard.

Under quantitative easing, the Fed injects money into banks by buying back government debt, thus incentivizing those banks to lend and ultimately fuel economic growth.

The problem, some say, is that the rush of liquidity that comes with such easing can ultimately drive inflation rates up too high.

The Fed is half way through the program.

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James Bullard
"Policy is a continuous process," Bullard tells CNBC.

"I would see it as possibly finishing the program a little bit shy of where we intended initially then go on pause for a while, let more information come in on the economy, see how things develop."

If things go as planned "we can start the process of getting the balance sheet back to normal and getting interest rates up there eventually."

Some say the program isn't working as well as it should, including Raghuram Rajan, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, a multilateral lending institution.

The problem is that banks use the fresh capital to invest outside of the United States, disrupting exchange rates across the globe in the process.

"The biggest problem in some sense is that the Fed's monetary policy actions are essentially transmitted to the rest of the world, when the rest of the world doesn't allow their exchange rates to move and protect their own monetary policy and keep that as a separate policy as its own," says Rajan, according to Reuters.

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The Federal Reserve should take a break from its $600 billion bond buyback program, known as quantitative easing, to see if the plan is working properly, says St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. Under quantitative easing, the Fed injects money into banks by buying back...
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2011-26-01
Tuesday, 01 Mar 2011 08:26 AM
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