Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher, one of the most vocal critics of quantitative easing, said the central bank is closer to slowing $85 billion in monthly bond buying and warned investors not to rely on that stimulus.
“Financial markets may have become too accustomed to what some have depicted as a Fed ‘put,’” or the idea that the central bank will loosen credit after a market decline, Fisher said in a speech in Portland, Oregon. “Some have come to expect the Fed to keep the markets levitating indefinitely. This distorts the pricing of financial assets” and can lead to “serious misallocation of capital.”
Treasury yields have jumped in the past three months and bond prices have fallen, as some Fed officials have said the central bank could slow its asset purchases. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a press conference after the Federal Open Market Committee’s June 18-19 meeting that the Fed may trim its bond-buying program later this year and halt it around mid-2014 if economic performance tracks the central bank’s forecast.
Fisher, who doesn’t vote on monetary policy this year, said in his prepared remarks that a decision to slow purchases is “closer to execution mode” with the unemployment rate having fallen last month to 7.4 percent.
The Dallas Fed president said that at last week’s FOMC meeting he suggested “we should gird our loins to make our first move this fall.”
The Fed needs to “carefully remove” its quantitative easing and “gingerly unwind it so as not to prompt market havoc,” Fisher told the National Association of State Retirement Administrators today.
Fisher, a former money manager and deputy U.S. trade representative, has been president of the Dallas Fed since 2005. His district consists of Texas, northern Louisiana and southern New Mexico.