St. Louis Fed bank chief says Bernanke comments badly timed

June 21, 2013 at 8:52 AM
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ST. LOUIS, June 21 (UPI) -- St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said central bank Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments on policy changes were badly timed.

In an online posting, Bullard explained why he disagreed with the Open Market Committee authorizing Bernanke to discuss unwinding the central bank's $85 billion per month asset purchasing program beginning in 2013.

Bullard said he believes the comments this week were "inappropriately timed," the statement said.

"The committee should have more strongly signaled its willingness to defend its inflation target of 2 percent in light of recent low inflation readings," the online posting said.

"President Bullard felt that a more prudent approach would be to wait for more tangible signs that the economy was strengthening and that inflation was on a path to return toward target before making such an announcement," the statement said.

Bullard was one of two voting members of the Open Market Committee who cast dissenting votes at the Fed's meeting this week. The other dissenting vote was cast by Esther George, president of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank.

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