Tags: Hoenig | Bernanke | Deal | Devil

Hoenig: Bernanke Has Cut Deal With the Devil

Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 09:49 AM

Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig says the recovery simply cannot be sped up and that Fed Chief Ben Bernanke’s efforts to avoid a double-dip by printing money are nothing less than “a bargain with the devil.”

Hoenig has been a sometimes lonely dissenter on the Fed’s rate-setting committee, which meets Tuesday. He fears that the latest foray into easy money, the $600 billion bond-buyback plan announced in November, is an unusually risky move.

He also believes that the repeated promises to keep rates at virtually zero for “an extended period” are a mistake.

Hoenig says that he believes that the Fed has kept rates too low for too long before. “It is my concern that, by understandably wanting to see things move more quickly, we create the conditions for repeating the mistakes of the past,” he said.

Even so, Hoenig couches his warnings in caveats: “I don’t want to say that I’m right and someone else is wrong,” he told The New York Times in an interview.

“Only time will tell whether I’m correct.”

The economy is stuck in a rut of very high unemployment, yet a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years could prove a shot in the arm. Even so, it’s not enough to warrant a shift in Fed policy for now, say experts.

"The potential changes in fiscal policy will almost certainly be discussed at the meeting, but the statement will likely shy away from any mention of this contentious topic," Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Chase Bank, told The Associated Press.

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Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig says the recovery simply cannot be sped up and that Fed Chief Ben Bernanke s efforts to avoid a double-dip by printing money are nothing less than a bargain with the devil. Hoenig has been a sometimes lonely dissenter on the Fed s...
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2010-49-14
Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010 09:49 AM
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