The talking Feds have been already been out in force this morning, stirring up trouble in Europe. Below are some highlights of the speeches they have been making.
In prepared remarks to a monetary policy conference in Norway, Federal Reserve Governor Frederic Mishkin signaled that he doesn't see the U.S. dollar's decline as an impediment to lower official interest rates given its shrinking effect on inflation. He stated that Exchange rate depreciations are...likely to have less adverse effects on inflation than they have had in the past. He added that, in fact, even sizeable depreciations of the nominal exchange rate have exerted small effects on consumer prices in many recent historical episodes and can be expected usually to exert small effects in future episodes, assuming central banks are publicly committed to keeping inflation low, Mishkin said.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President William Poole said Thursday said monetary policy making is surrounded by uncertainty and must be made with the long-run view as the main objective. Poole sees monetary policy as a balancing act and there are a lot of unknowns, difficult judgments. In response to a question about the threat credit-card debt could pose in the event of an economic recession, Poole said the issue was real, although a contraction in economic activity is not my prediction. Poole believes we are going to have a few lean years in the housing industry while we work off the excess stock. Poole's comments came in response to audience questions after a speech before an event held at the University of Illinois-Springfield. Poole is not a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee and will retire from the St. Louis Fed at the end of the month.
Speaking at a symposium on globalization, inflation and monetary policy hosted by the Bank of France in Paris, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher believe its it would be dangerous for the U.S. Federal Reserve to react too quickly to any new information or events. He added that Central bankers need to do their best to keep a steady hand during emergency circumstances. I'm not saying this is an emergency situation. He went on to refer to the Fed's recent rate cuts, saying: we reacted with very deliberate actions that took place over a very short timeframe... That shouldn't lead markets to expectations that we will continue to react in that manner. Fischer is a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee this year.
Finally, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen said that U.S. employment and inflation risks are an unpleasant duo the Fed will need to balance with monetary policy going forward. In remarks prepared for delivery in Paris at an economic symposium sponsored by the Bank of France, Yellen remains confident that inflation will moderate over time, adding that more slack in the labor market may, in fact, help curb prices. Yellen stated that There are downside inflationary pressures relating to the slowdown in the U.S. economy. In addition, she said Globalization could be holding inflation down by making workers in the U.S. and elsewhere more fearful of job loss, thus lowering wage demands. Yellen isn't a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee.