Interest Rate Roundup

Monday, November 16, 2009

The surprise of the day: Bernanke actually acknowledges the dollar decline

The text from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech in New York was just released. For a change, he actually mentioned the dollar and suggested that its movements could factor into policy decisions. That has led to a bounce in the Dollar Index from its daily low. The operative text is below:

"The foreign exchange value of the dollar has moved over a wide range during the past year or so. When financial stresses were most pronounced, a flight to the deepest and most liquid capital markets resulted in a marked increase in the dollar. More recently, as financial market functioning has improved and global economic activity has stabilized, these safe haven flows have abated, and the dollar has accordingly retraced its gains. The Federal Reserve will continue to monitor these developments closely. We are attentive to the implications of changes in the value of the dollar and will continue to formulate policy to guard against risks to our dual mandate to foster both maximum employment and price stability. Our commitment to our dual objectives, together with the underlying strengths of the U.S. economy, will help ensure that the dollar is strong and a source of global financial stability."

At the same time, Bernanke essentially promised to keep the same policies in place that are leading to a dollar decline. Specifically, he added:

"The Federal Open Market Committee continues to anticipate that economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period. Of course, significant changes in economic conditions or the economic outlook would change the outlook for policy as well. We have a wide range of tools for removing monetary policy accommodation when the economic outlook requires us to do so, and we will calibrate the timing and pace of any future tightening to best foster maximum employment and price stability."

So the question now becomes, "Is talk enough for more than a bounce in the buck?"


Post a Comment

<< Home

Site Meter