Is the Fed Fracturing?

Federal_Open_Market_Committee_Meeting

In the midst of the global market panic after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the Fed would start to taper its $85 billion a month bond purchases this fall, with a possible end date of next summer, few people took note of the fact that not only were there two dissenters to the policy, they were objecting for completely opposite reasons.

Kansas City Fed president Esther George, who has seen first-hand the real estate bubble in farmland in her district, has dissented at every FOMC meeting this year. She says that QE is distorting markets, and the longer it goes on, the worse the fallout will be. She has been in favor of ending the Fed’s massive bond buying operation since she took a voting position on the 2013 FOMC.

St. Louis Fed president James Bullard dissented, because he thinks the Fed needs to increase QE, and maintain it longer, if that is what is needed to prevent deflation from taking hold. He also noted in his dissent that the Fed was actually downgrading economic forecasts while at the same time announcing the reduction and cessation of monetary easing.

With two Fed presidents with totally opposite views feeling so strongly about the current U.S. monetary policy, that they are willing to publicly break with the Chairman, trust and confidence in the Fed is certain to be shaken.

by David Peterson

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