‘QE3’ is necessary, Bernanke suggests

According to the article, the Fed will soon launch another round of quantitative easing in an effort to promote growth within the economy. While the Fed chairman did not give any hints as to when the next round will occur, he did make it clear that he is ready to pull the trigger.

By MarketWatch
Aug. 31, 2012, 10:22 a.m. EDT
Market Watch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Federal Reserve will soon fire off another round of bond-buying in an effort to goose the economy and bring down the unemployment rate.

While Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke did not give any hints at the timing of the next Fed move, he made it clear that he’s ready to pull the trigger. The only question that remains is whether it will happen in mid-September or December.

In his speech to the Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Bernanke shot down every objection to further quantitative easing, which is known in the markets as “QE3.” The first two rounds of QE have been effective in supporting growth, and it has not led to any acceleration in inflation, he said.

Bernanke said the evidence is clear that the benefits of QE outweigh the costs.

Of course, not everyone agrees with Bernanke’s assessment, including some members of the Federal Open Market Committee, which must make the call. But Bernanke’s views seem to be the majority opinion on the FOMC, which has stated that further bond-buying will occur unless the economy shows significant and sustained improvement.

QE would boost the stock market, of course. But that’s not the main reason for doing it, Bernanke said Friday. The real reason is the immense waste and suffering that unemployment causes.

This is how he put it: “The stagnation of the labor market in particular is a grave concern not only because of the enormous suffering and waste of human talent it entails, but also because persistently high levels of unemployment will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years.”

The economy still faces many dangers, including self-inflicted wounds inflicted by the Congress and the administration in squeezing fiscal policy tighter. The Fed knows it can’t solve these problems by itself, but that won’t stop it from doing all it can.

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