Tags: fed | money | supply

Watchdog: Fed Should Hit the Brakes on Money Supply

Thursday, 14 May 2009 12:22 PM

By Dan Weil

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Allan Meltzer, the economist who is known as the dean of Federal Reserve watchers, says the central bank should pull back on its massive easing program to avoid an inflation surge.

“I’m not worried about inflation tomorrow,” Meltzer tells Bloomberg TV. “I’m worried about inflation two years from now, and the way to prevent it two years from now is to start doing something now.”

The Fed should “slow the rate at which it increases money growth,” Meltzer says. “It’s the agent of the Treasury now.”

Signs of future inflation are rampant, he says.

“Mortgage rates are starting to move up, bond rates are starting to move up,” Meltzer points out.

“People are nervous. The dollar is declining. The money growth rate is too high. It takes a couple of years to slow it down.”

Meltzer doesn’t want the Fed to completely halt its easing campaign. “I just want them to look ahead a little bit.”

He says the current situation reminds him of the 1970s. “The people in the ’70s weren’t stupid,” Meltzer points out. “They knew that they were creating inflation. But they worried about unemployment. … That’s how we got the big inflation.”

Meltzer isn’t alone in worrying about inflation.

“A country that continuously expands its debt… and raises much of the money abroad to finance that, at some point, it’s going to inflate its way out of the burden,” investment icon Warren Buffett recently told CNBC.

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