The market is not amused...
- *BERNANKE SAYS STAGNATION IN LABOR MARKET IS `GRAVE CONCERN'
- *BERNANKE SAYS FED WILL BOOST ACCOMMODATION AS NEEDED FOR GROWTH
- *BERNANKE SAYS HE WOULDN'T RULE OUT FURTHER ASSET PURCHASES
- *BERNANKE: QE `SIGNIFICANTLY LOWERED LONG-TERM TREASURY YIELDS'
- *BERNANKE SAYS IMPACT OF QE IS `ECONOMICALLY MEANINGFUL'
- *BERNANKE: BIG BOOST IN QE MAY REDUCE CONFIDENCE IN SMOOTH EXIT
Those are the headlines. Here is the disappointing conclusion , which promises nothing new at all:
As I have discussed today, it is also true that nontraditional policies are relatively more difficult to apply, at least given the present state of our knowledge. Estimates of the effects of nontraditional policies on economic activity and inflation are uncertain, and the use of nontraditional policies involves costs beyond those generally associated with more-standard policies. Consequently, the bar for the use of nontraditional policies is higher than for traditional policies. In addition, in the present context, nontraditional policies share the limitations of monetary policy more generally: Monetary policy cannot achieve by itself what a broader and more balanced set of economic policies might achieve; in particular, it cannot neutralize the fiscal and financial risks that the country faces. It certainly cannot fine-tune economic outcomes.
As we assess the benefits and costs of alternative policy approaches, though, we must not lose sight of the daunting economic challenges that confront our nation. The stagnation of the labor market in particular is a grave concern not only because of the enormous suffering and waste of human talent it entails, but also because persistently high levels of unemployment will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years.
But here is where Bernanke literally kicks the market in the teeth:
A second potential cost of additional securities purchases is that substantial further expansions of the balance sheet could reduce public confidence in the Fed's ability to exit smoothly from its accommodative policies at the appropriate time. Even if unjustified, such a reduction in confidence might increase the risk of a costly unanchoring of inflation expectations, leading in turn to financial and economic instability.
Bernanke just admitted the risk of deferred inflation and thus checked to Congress once again. And with the Fiscal cliff coming up, not to mention elections and the debt ceiling fight up ahead, good luck Chairman.