Saturday, September 01, 2012

WSJ interview with Fed's Lockhart: Next Fed action could be a "package" of easing

by Calculated Risk on 9/01/2012 06:36:00 PM

Here is a brief interview of Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart in the WSJ: Fed Official Says More Stimulus a 'Close Call'

"It's a close call" when it comes answering the question of whether the Fed should provide more aid to the economy, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said.
"I'm increasingly of the view that we are on a track that you would, to simplify it, would say is about a 2% growth track with fluctuating job growth. But overall, not a strong enough pace to bring down unemployment to anything close to a notion of full employment in a reasonable time," Mr. Lockhart said.

"That's a very tough question. I am not highly confident in the ability of simply monetary action to jump-shift the economy onto a different track," ... "There really is a lot to be solved on the fiscal side to create the conditions, arguably, in which further monetary action could really boost the economy,"
If the Fed were to act, Mr. Lockhart said half-measures would not get the job done. While he didn't state what the steps could be, he said stimulus, if chosen, should be "a package. When I say package that means two or three things done at the same time to create maximum possible gains."
CR Note: If Lockhart is waiting for additional fiscal stimulus, it will be a long long wait. And the "fiscal cliff" will not be addressed until after the election.

I think his most interesting comment is at the end about additional accommodation as "a package". That suggests that both extending the extended period until 2015 and another round of asset purchases might happen at the same time (perhaps conditional on the economy).

Summary for Week Ending Aug 31st
Schedule for Week of Sept 2nd