Plosser Says QE3 Risks Fed Credibility

New round of bond buying not likely to boost hiring or growth, says Philadelphia Fed president.

Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser said new bond buying announced by the Fed this month probably won’t boost growth or hiring and may jeopardize the central bank’s credibility.

“We are unlikely to see much benefit to growth or to employment from further asset purchases,” Plosser said in a speech today at the district bank in Philadelphia. “Conveying the idea that such action will have a substantive impact on labor markets and the speed of the recovery risks the Fed’s credibility.”

‘Hard Won’

The Fed’s “hard-won credibility” is crucial because if the public doesn’t have confidence in policy makers, their ability to set effective monetary policy will be harmed, hurting households and businesses, Plosser said. If people believe the central bank will delay raising rates, they may “infer that the Fed is willing to tolerate considerably higher inflation,” spurring an increase in inflation expectations that would require a response from the FOMC, Plosser said.

Guide Inflation

Plosser said today that central banks can’t effectively target employment levels the same way they can guide inflation rates because hiring also depends on variables unrelated to monetary policy, such as technology, education and tax rates.

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