Fed governors Williams & Lacker speeched. Fed Rosengren appeared on CNBC. San Francisco Fed governor Williams is the most interesting one, as he is moderately dovish in his views. He was in past years a strong proponent of QE, but early this year he was the first governor to suggest that QE - 3 might be reduced from the summer. San Francisco Fed research on labour markets and concerns about the costs were likely important reasons for his change of heart.
Yesterday, Williams was rather pessimistic. “Up until recently, I was thinking we would start seeing more of that self - powered growth in the second half of this year. Unfortunately, that’s not really been happening and we haven’t seen a real pickup ”. He sees now an acceleration of growth early next year. Williams declined to give any indication about when he sees the Fed start ing tapering purchases. He simply said it will be data - dependent. Interestingly though, Williams suggested that the Fed should switch from an open - ended to a close - ended QE programme. This would make communication hopefully easier. Once the FOMC wants to start reducing its programme, it should “ announce we’re planning to stop the purchases over the next “n” months and finish with a certain amount amount of purchases.”
We think that the FOMC might seriously examine such a proposal. Richmond Fed Lacker, a hawk, repeated his opposition to QE, saying that the Fed’s ability to provide stimulus through QE was uncertain. He saw the impact of the shutdown as transitory, but sees no pickup in growth next year. “ I just don’t see where it is likely to come from”. Boston Fed Rosengren is a dove who spoke yesterday.
His comments varied and cannot be easily qualified. The improvement in the labour market is slower than he expected, but he remains hopeful to see 3% growth soon. He said the FOMC must be attentive for the costs of QE, which according to him, could be qualified as hawkish. On the other hand, he said it could be 2016 before FF rate is raised. His comment on QE costs might explain the move down in Treasuries and the rise of the dollar at the time of speaking.