Tags: Lacker | Fed | taper | data

Fed's Lacker: $10 Billion Represents Baseline Tapering for Future Meetings

By    |   Monday, 23 December 2013 12:49 PM

The Federal Reserve will use $10 billion as the baseline figure for tapering quantitative easing at its future meetings, says Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker.

The central bank announced last week that it's curbing its bond purchases by that amount starting in January, leaving monthly buying at $75 billion.

The Fed can accelerate or decelerate from the $10 billion pace depending on the strength of economic statistics, Lacker told CNBC.

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"You have to consider the door open to us pausing if the data comes in a little weaker than we thought or accelerating if the data comes in stronger," he said.

"If you look back at the last three years, you see all these swings in employment growth. You don't want to overreact to the little swings because you're just going to get them."

As for last week's move, "given the data, . . . this decision was a slam dunk," Lacker argued. "That last employment report should have sealed the case."

In November, the economy added 203,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7 percent.

David Rosenberg, chief economist of Gluskin Sheff + Associates, doesn't see the Fed's initial tapering as a big deal. That's partly because the Fed had indicated for months that it was coming, Rosenberg explained, according to The New York Times.

In addition, the Fed made clear last week that the federal funds rate target will likely stay at its record low of zero to 0.25 percent through 2015, Rosenberg noted. So Fed policy is staying quite accommodative.

"Going from $85 billion of monthly asset purchases to $75 billion is akin to taking the Corvette to 140 mph from 160 mph," Rosenberg wrote in a commentary obtained by The Times.

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The Federal Reserve will use $10 billion as the baseline figure for tapering quantitative easing at its future meetings, says Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker.
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2013-49-23
Monday, 23 December 2013 12:49 PM
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