Discord in the Fed

There is a bit of discord at the Fed. After Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota said earlier this week that the FOMC should consider raising interest rates later this year rather than maintain zero interest rate policy through 2014 (as is the current position of the Fed), vice chairwoman Janet Yellen remarked that ZIRP might actually need to be extended as far as 2015. The former San Francisco Fed President further commented in her speech at the Money Marketeers club of New York University that there has been “a significant shortfall in the overall amount of monetary policy stimulus since early 2009.”

Then, at a meeting of the National Economics Club I was attending this afternoon, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser note that when QE2 was launched in 2010 that unemployment was soaring and inflation was nill, and that because unemployment is falling and inflation is picking up that rather than talk about the need for QE3 we should be looking to tighten monetary policy.

After making this remark he backed off a bit and said he wasn’t suggesting we should actually tighten monetary policy but rather just take it as a hypothetical response relative to the perceived need for QE3.

Discord indeed.

At least the Federal Reserve appears to be about as conflicted as the blogosphere is on what to do and when to do it.