Fed Plans to Continue Bond Buying
Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, announced Jan. 14 that the agency’s QE3 bond buying program will continue until he sees more satisfactory results with economic progress, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Speaking at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Bernanke noted that the Fed’s $85 billion-a-month bond-buying programs will continue until the job market substantially improves. The Fed is looking for unemployment to fall to 6.5 percent or lower.
Bernanke said that the economy has improved, in part, because of a gradually improving housing market, and that the Fed’s bond-buying efforts have had helped drive down long-term interest rates to make home purchasing more affordable, the Journal reported.
In December, Fed officials announced their intent to keep shorter-term interest rates near zero until mid-2015.
However, not all policymakers agree that the Fed’s bond purchases should continue, the Journal reported. Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee said they believed the program could destabilize the economy given that the Fed’s portfolio now stands at $2.9 trillion. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart told the Journal that he fears a big Central Bank balance sheet could lead to inflation and financial instability.