Experts: Fed's 'Transparency' Policy Isn’t Always Clear

Monday, 23 Apr 2012 07:49 AM

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's policy of being more transparent can be confusing at times, experts say.

Bernanke often speaks in public, holds unprecedented press conferences after monetary policy meetings and releases more information concerning the inner workings of the Fed.

The issue, according to some, is that Bernanke and other Fed officials contradict one another, sending different signals to the markets and at times on a weekly basis.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did

"It’s been one of the most amazing things," says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, a Chicago investment firm, according to the New York Times.

"Over time I would have expected increased transparency to diminish my role in translating monetary policy for the markets."

Some senior Fed officials have said the monetary authority should stick with ultra-loose policies such as keeping rates low and injecting liquidity into the economy via bond buybacks, while others have said it's time to stand down because more action could threaten to pump inflation rates.

Others disagree over when the time will come to start raising interest rates.

Still, other experts say the disclosure is a good thing, adding people will get used to it.

"You can imagine that the effectiveness would depend on the chairman, but Bernanke is excellent," says Laurence H. Meyer, senior managing director at Macroeconomic Advisers and a former Fed governor, the Times adds.

"He uses them well to provide color and clarification."

Today, Fed watchers are debating whether the Fed will hint later this week at a need for more stimulus measures, with more and more guessing that despite weak March employment figures, the Fed will likely forgo stimulating the economy.

"The state of the economy doesn't argue for them to do more stimulus but it also doesn't warrant them doing less," say Ann Owen, a former Fed economist now at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, according to Reuters.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama for Mishandling Economy. See What They Did



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