Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Charles Plosser speech on the economic outlook

"I dissented from both of these decisions. As I noted earlier, given that inflation was notably higher and unemployment lower than it was last fall when we embarked on our second round of asset purchases, it wasn't clear that further accommodation was called for. In addition, I believe these actions will do little to improve the near-term prospects for economic growth or employment, but they do pose some real risks. Policy actions are not free and should be evaluated based on the costs and benefits."

"Based on our experience with Operation Twist in the 1960s and with last year's QE2, the reduction in long-term rates from our actions in September is likely to be less than 20 basis points for the 10-year Treasury yield, which is currently only 2 percent."

"We also need to ensure that Fed policy remains credible. Economic theory and historical experience tell us that a central bank's ability to maintain price stability and promote economic growth hinges on its credibility. Actions that undermine credibility can put at risk the effectiveness of a central bank's ability to achieve its objectives. In my view, the actions taken in August and September risk undermining the Fed's credibility by giving the impression that we think such policies can have a major impact on the speed of the recovery. It is my assessment that they will not. We should not take actions simply because we can."

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