Bernanke Transcript: Entirely Prepared to Do More If Needed
WASHINGTON (MNI) – Following are excerpts of the transcript from
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s press conference:
Some of your critics — I’m sure you’re not going to be surprised
— think that you’re still being too cautious, that unemployment is
still high, the economy may be slowing, inflation is subdued. I know you
just talked about the balance sheet, but given that, is the Committee
now any closer to QE3 than it was at its last meeting?
Well, first, the Committee has certainly been bold and aggressive
in terms of easing monetary policy. We’ve maintained the federal funds
rate close to zero since late 2008. We’ve had two rounds of so-called
quantitative easing. We’ve had a maturity extension program — which is
ongoing — we have offered a guidance about the federal funds rate that
goes into at least 2014.
So we have been very accommodative. And we remain prepared to do
more as needed to make sure this recovery continues and that inflation
stays close to target.
So, in particular, we’ll continue to assess, you know — looking at
the economic outlook, looking at the risks — whether or not
unemployment is making sufficient progress towards its longer run normal
level, and whether inflation is remaining close to target.
And if appropriate, and depending also on assessment of the costs
and risks of additional policy actions, we remain entirely prepared to
take additional balancing actions if necessary to achieve our
So those tools remain very much on the table. And we will not
hesitate to use them, should the economy require that additional
** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **