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Fed thinks QE impact declines over time: minutes

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)
Federal Reserve officials agreed in December to start to wind down their asset purchase program as most believed that the benefits of the controversial policy were eroding over time
Minutes from the Dec. 17-18 meeting included the results of a survey of officials about the costs and benefits of the program, commonly called quantitative easing
The survey found that "a majority of participants judged that the marginal efficacy of purchases was likely declining as purchases continue."
A survey of the officials conducted prior to the start of the meeting found that most Fed members think the central bank can conclude the bond purchases in the second half of the year At the December meeting, the Fed agreed to begin to taper its bond-purchase program by $10 billion to $75 billion per month starting in January
Fed officials expressed greater confidence in the economic outlook
They said that future reductions would be undertaken in measured steps

7 comentarios:

Red de Genios dijo...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Federal Reserve officials agreed in December to begin winding down their asset-purchase program as most believed that the benefits of the controversial policy were eroding as time passed, according to minutes from their last meeting released Wednesday.

Minutes from the Dec. 17-18 meeting included the results of a survey of officials about the costs and benefits of the program, commonly called quantitative easing.

See key excerpts from the Fed minutes.

The survey found that “a majority of participants judged that the marginal efficacy of purchases was likely declining as purchases continue.”

A survey of officials conducted prior to the start of the meeting found that most Fed members think the central bank can conclude the bond purchases in the second half of the year.

By a 9-to-1 vote, the Fed on Dec. 18 decided to trim its asset-purchase program by $10 billion to $75 billion per month starting in January.

Officials said that this was a cautious first step as some were worried about an unintended tightening of financial conditions.

According to the minutes, some officials wanted a larger reduction in asset purchases in December and to bring the program to a close “relatively quickly.”

Some wanted the Fed to set down in writing the steps it would take to reduce the program and propose a completion date.

But Fed voting members decided that future reductions “would be undertaken in measured steps.” They stressed that tapering was not on a “preset course.”

U.S. stocks were down at session lows after the minutes were released. See live blog of stock market.

The long end of the bond curve saw diminished interest as yields on the 10-year Treasury 10_YEAR +1.87% looked set to close above 3%.

The Fed also made important changes to the language of its statement. It said it would not raise short -term interest rates until “well past the time” that the unemployment rate fell below 6.5%. The minutes show that only a “few members” — by members, the Fed is referring to voters — wanted to lower the unemployment threshold to 6%.

Some Fed officials argued against lowering the threshold, according to the minutes, because changes would be confusing and undermine the central bank’s credibility.

In their statement, the central bankers also said for the first time that they would be watching low inflation carefully.

But the minutes show that most officials believe that inflation will move back towards the Fed’s 2% target.

Only a few “raised the possibility that recent declines in inflation might suggest that the economic recovery was not as strong as some thought.”

Red de Genios dijo...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The Federal Reserve will likely continue to taper and eventually eliminate its bond purchases this year assuming the economy picks up as expected, said John Williams, president of the San Francisco Fed, on Tuesday. Ending the asset purchases "will be an important first step towards eventually bringing monetary policy back to a more normal setting," Williams said in a speech to a bankers' convention in Phoenix, Ariz. Williams quickly cautioned that these policy steps depend on prevailing economic conditions rather than on some fixed date on the calendar. And he stressed the Fed was not near hiking rates. "We starting to ease off the gas but we're nowhere near hitting the brakes yet," he said. Williams was fairly optimistic about the outlook, describing "newfound momentum" in the economy and forecasting a 3% growth rate in 2014 and 2015. Inflation seems to have "finally bottomed out" and should begin to slowly creep higher towards the Fed's 2% target, he added. "We're still not where the economy should be, but we're well on the road to recovery, and I see things getting better in the year ahead," Williams said.

Red de Genios dijo...

Bank of Japan official sees more easing if needed

Red de Genios dijo...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The president of the Richmond Federal Reserve on Friday expressed skepticism that a burst of growth toward the end of 2013 will kick the U.S. economy into a higher gear in 2014. Jeffrey Lacker, speaking at a conference in Baltimore, said the U.S. is likely to expand at a 2% rate in 2014 instead of closer to 3% as more and more private-sector economists are suggesting. Lacker expects the economy to follow the same pattern of the past few years, speeding up and then slowing down. He said it's unlikely companies will sharply acclerate hiring or that U.S. productivity and output will surge, all of which are necessary to generate growth in the 3% range. In the upcoming months, Lacker said he also expects the Fed to continue to wind down its bond-buying stimulus program.

Red de Genios dijo...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser warned Friday that the central bank may have to be "aggressive" in lifting interest rates and may have to chase market rates higher, if banks were to quickly release reserves. He also suggested the expectations of his colleagues by the end of 2016 that calls for Fed funds rates to be below 2% even when the job market is back to normal may be too low. Plosser also said the central bank could face political pressure not to lift rates. "Technically we can certainly do that, but it will be a question of will," he said. He also said the Fed is monitoring asset prices and leverage to avoid "frothiness" in markets. Plosser is known for his hawkish views and becomes a voting Federal Open Market Committee member this year. The Fed last month started tapering their bond-purchase program, reducing monthly purchases to $75 billion.

Red de Genios dijo...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser warned Friday that the central bank may have to be "aggressive" in lifting interest rates and may have to chase market rates higher, if banks were to quickly release reserves. He also suggested the expectations of his colleagues by the end of 2016 that calls for Fed funds rates to be below 2% even when the job market is back to normal may be too low. Plosser also said the central bank could face political pressure not to lift rates. "Technically we can certainly do that, but it will be a question of will," he said. He also said the Fed is monitoring asset prices and leverage to avoid "frothiness" in markets. Plosser is known for his hawkish views and becomes a voting Federal Open Market Committee member this year. The Fed last month started tapering their bond-purchase program, reducing monthly purchases to $75 billion.

Red de Genios dijo...

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)-- The Federal Reserve's decision to reduce its monthly bond purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion in December was a "modest" but essential step, said Esther George, president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, on Thursday. George was a voting member of the Fed's rate-policy committee last year and does not have a vote in 2014. She pressed all of last year for the Fed to start to taper. In a speech to the Wisconsin Bankers Association in Madison, Wis. George did not lay out a preferred time-table for tapering but made clear she is ready for more reductions. "I remain concerned about the potential costs and consequences of these untested policies," she said. In her remarks, George was upbeat about the economic outlook, forecasting growth this year in the range of 2.5% to 3% in 2014. She said she was unconcerned about recent low inflation readings, saying it was the result of special factors. George used a large portion of her prepared remarks to lay out why the community bankers in Wisconsin should back tougher measures to downsize too-big-to-fail banks.