Non Voter Bullard Says Case for Higher Rates is Strong

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he argued against last week’s decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady, and felt other policymakers had not made a compelling case for yet again delaying a rate hike.

Bullard does not currently vote on the Fed’s policy setting committee and thus could not join Richmond Fed chief Jeffrey Lacker in dissenting from the decision to hold rates near zero for at least another six weeks.

But he was sharply critical of the decision in remarks to a community banking group here.

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“The Committee has not, in my view, provided a satisfactory answer,” to how near zero interest rates align with close to full employment and continued economic growth, Bullard said. Even though inflation is weak, rates will still be extraordinarily low even after an initial rate increase, Bullard said, and thus would continue to support economic growth and ultimately higher prices.

“The case for policy normalization is quite strong,” Bullard said, contending that the Fed’s dual employment and inflation objectives “have essentially been met.”

Via CNBC/a>

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza