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Bernanke Says Premature Tightening Would Endanger Recovery




Play More Progress Seen Needed Before Slowing QE Pace Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke defended the central bank’s record stimulus program under questioning from lawmakers, telling them that ending it prematurely would endanger a recovery hampered by high unemployment and government spending cuts. “A premature tightening of monetary policy could lead interest rates to rise temporarily but would also carry a substantial risk of slowing or ending the economic recovery and causing inflation to fall further,” Bernanke said today in testimony to the Joint Economic Committee of Congress in Washington.



Bernanke lamented the human and economic costs of an unemployment rate at 7.5 percent nearly four years into the recovery from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, and said the Fed’s easing is providing “significant benefits.” His comments echoed remarks by William C. Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York , who said in an interview that it would take three to four months before policy makers will know whether a sustainable recovery is in place. Fed officials “need to see inflation expectations remain in a desired range, they need to see that the peak home-buying season goes as well as it can, and they need to see that we have absorbed the bulk of the huge fiscal consolidation” before they reduce the pace of purchases from $85 billion a month, said Lou Crandall , chief economist at Wrightson ICAP LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey . Rally Erased Stocks erased an early rally and Treasuries fell after Bernanke said the Fed could “take a step down in our pace of purchases” in the “next few meetings.” “We’re trying to make an assessment of whether or not we have seen real and sustainable progress in the labor market outlook,” Bernanke said in response to […]


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  • Bernanke Says Premature Tightening Would Endanger Recovery
  • Bernanke Says Premature Tightening Would Endanger Recovery
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