Monday 22 January 2018

Bernanke goes on air to defend Fed's buying of treasury securities

US Federal Reserve
chairman Ben Bernanke
US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke

US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke defended the Fed's decision to purchase $600bn (€447bn) in treasury securities and didn't rule out expanding the programme, in an interview for CBS television's '60 Minutes', the network said.

"He explains why the Fed announced its intention to buy $600bn in treasury securities, defending against charges the move will lead to inflation and not ruling out the purchase of more," CBS said yesterday.

At its November 3 meeting in Washington, the Fed announced the programme to purchase about $75bn (€56bn) a month of treasury securities until the end of June.

The Fed's Open Market Committee said it would "regularly review the pace of its securities purchases and the overall size of the asset-purchase program".

Republican leaders criticised the second round of so-called quantitative easing last month, where the Fed attempted to provide additional monetary stimulus by purchasing treasury debt. The Fed's benchmark lending rate has been in a range of zero to 0.25pc since December 2008.

The news show's website previously stated that Mr Bernanke would discuss "pressing economic issues" such as US unemployment, the federal deficit and the central bank's decision last month to purchase an additional $600bn in US treasury bonds.

Mr Bernanke also appeared on '60 Minutes' in March 2009.

Irish Independent

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