Monday, September 10, 2007

Which Way Do the Indicators Blow?

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President Janet Yellen, speaks during the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) Washington Economic Policy Conference in Arlington, Virginia, March 13, 2006. Photographer: Stephen Voss/Bloomberg News

Members of the Federal Open Market Committee which sets U.S. monetary policy are singing from different hymnals. Their discordant tunes indicate that the future course of policy is uncertain.

Bloomberg's By Scott Lanman and Vivien Lou Chen report that: "Janet Yellen, head of the San Francisco Fed, today cited 'significant downward pressure' on growth because of housing and financial-market turmoil. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said he's `'generally encouraged' about the economy, while Atlanta's Dennis Lockhart backed off remarks he made four days ago that the housing slump was having a limited impact.

The scope of remarks may reflect a debate inside the central bank over whether to lower the benchmark rate on Sept. 18 by a quarter-percentage point, or a half-point as some investors expect, Fed watchers said.

The R-Word?

Meanwhile, Eoin Callan in the Financial Times reports that there is more use of the word "recession" as economic observers digest last Friday's payroll employment shock. Read his "The R-word surfaces on Wall Street."

No comments: