Friday, August 27, 2010
Image via WikipediaFed Ready to Increase Its Buying of Long-Term Debt - NYTimes.com
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, said Friday that the central bank was determined to prevent the economy from slipping into a cycle of falling prices, even as he emphasized that he believed growth would continue in the second half of the year, “albeit at a relatively modest pace.”
To help sustain the economy, Mr. Bernanke gave his strongest indication yet that the Fed was ready to resume its large purchases of longer-term debt if the economy worsened, a move that would add to the Fed’s already substantial holdings.
“We have come a long way, but there is still some way to travel,” Mr. Bernanke said.
“I believe that additional purchases of longer-term securities, should the F.O.M.C. choose to take them, would be effective in further easing financial conditions,” Mr. Bernanke told a Fed policy symposium here. He was referring to the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel that sets interest rates, which Mr. Bernanke leads; some members have expressed unease over the prospect of the Fed pursuing any further monetary accommodation.
“Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems,” he said.
While Mr. Bernanke emphasized that deflation was “not a significant risk for the United States at this time,” he said “the F.O.M.C. will strongly resist deviations from price stability in the downward direction.”
It was his most robust statement to date that the Fed would do its part to avoid a Japanese-style deflation from taking hold.