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Bullard Warns More Stimulus Risks 1970s-Style Inflation

Thursday, 17 Nov 2011 11:12 AM

(Updates with comment in fifth paragraph.)

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said additional monetary stimulus by the Fed risks fueling inflation similar to three decades ago.

“If you try to push really hard, even harder, you might get a lot of inflation in the U.S.,” Bullard said in a CNBC interview today. “You might replay the 1970s. I’m telling you, people will not be happy if we go to that situation.”

Federal Reserve policy makers are considering additional stimulus even as the economy picks up. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said on Nov. 2 that unemployment is still “far too high” and additional stimulus “remains on the table.”

Bullard said U.S. growth has accelerated to about 2.5 percent in the second half and may be 3 percent to 3.5 percent next year. Expansion will be 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.2 percent in 2012, according to the median forecast among 63 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News from Nov. 4 to Nov. 9.

“The hard data has come in pretty good since August, September, so I think we are looking OK,” Bullard said in the televised interview. Declining confidence “was not of a nature that would cause the U.S. economy to really tumble. Europe is too far away from the American household to get them to cancel the Disney World trip.”

The European debt crisis, while remaining a risk to the U.S., may not reduce growth much unless it gets worse, Bullard said. U.S. banks and financial regulators are better prepared for a crisis now.

“If it blows up in a big disorderly way, which is what everybody is worried about, then that could come back to haunt the U.S.,” he told CNBC. “If it just kind of tumbles along for a long period of time, which is the most likely outcome, then I am not sure you would get much feedback to the U.S.”

--Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Christopher Wellisz

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Matthews in Atlanta at smatthews@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
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(Updates with comment in fifth paragraph.) Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said additional monetary stimulus by the Fed risks fueling inflation similar to three decades ago. “If you try to push really hard, even harder, you...
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2011-12-17
Thursday, 17 Nov 2011 11:12 AM
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