Fed chairman Ben Bernanke is getting restless. He’s the most aggressive and experimental Fed chairman in history and it almost sounds like he’s biting the bullet to do a third quantitative easing, feeling a dual pressure from the need to keep interest rates low and the need to reach full employment.
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At the annual meeting of Fed officials last month in Jackson Hole, WY, his focus was more on addressing the nation’s economic problems than continuing the debate on the merits of various strategies.
Bernanke’s approach is unorthodox. He has made the most significant changes to the size and composition of the Fed’s balance sheet than any other Fed chairman in history.
At the August meeting, Bernanke said that the stagnation of the labor market is a grave concern. The unemployment report for August, announced on September 7, only bolstered that remark. New job creation significantly missed the anticipated number
of 130,000 new jobs. Only 96,000 new jobs were created.
Even if a third easing doesn’t have much immediate effect, it may help to bolster the US economy as Europe’s continues to slump and China’s economy also continues to weaken.
The Fed meets September 12 and 13. The result may be this type of preemptive action in an effort to manage high risk in an already uneven recovery.