Esther George is president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve and is one of the four new voting members on the Fed’s Open Market Committee. At the conclusion yesterday of the FOMC’s first meeting of 2013, George was the lone dissenter on the official statement that continues $40 billion of Treasury bond purchases, and $45 billion of mortgage back securities a month.
In the FOMC statement, it noted that George was concerned that “the continued high level of monetary accommodation increased the risks of future economic and financial imbalances and, over time, could cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations.” Interestingly, James Bullard, perceived by some as the most hawkish of the four Fed presidents who gained a voting seat in 2013, did not join George in her dissent. There was some hope among inflation hawks that George and Bullard would join forces in opposing unlimited quantitative easing.
Last year, Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, took the unprecedented step of dissenting on every FOMC decision to employ quantitative easing in an effort to inject liquidity into the market. He was the lone opponent on the FOMC to the bond purchase policy.