What Should the Fed Do?

Nick Timiraos, in his Wall Street Journal piece expressed some concern about the tightrope the Federal Reserve bankers must walk (his phrasing) regarding its bond purchase taper and what others, especially market players, might say about the Fed’s dot plot—a graph that’s generated from individual board members’ views of raising and lowering interest rates and to what level.

Getting that message [regarding bond purchasing] to stick could be tricky when the central bank’s two-day meeting concludes Wednesday if new interest-rate projections—the so-called dot plot—show officials are considering rate increases at the same time….

The only way to make any message stick is for the Fed to do what it says it will do in its “messaging,” regardless of any outside dumpster-diving interpretations of their tea leaf scraps. Seers are going to claim to see regardless of what the Fed does. If the Fed says it’s going to taper its bond purchase program, that’s what it should do. Full stop.

Rather than tapering, though—my humble opinion—it’s long past time for the Fed to reduce, to below zero, its bond buying, selling off the bonds it already holds to enormous excess. Put an end to half-measure tapering.

Separately, the WSJ asked

What action, if any, should the Fed take on interest rates?

The Fed should set their benchmark interest rates at levels historically consistent with their target inflation rate of 2%, more or less, and then sit down and be quiet. Stop trying to micromanage market rates.

Neither case is complicated, except that Government bureaucrats overcomplicate them with overthinking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *