Amid Fed Dissent, Bernanke Calls For Continued Stimulus
Growing disagreement in the ranks
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke called for maintaining accommodation even as the minutes of policy makers' June meeting showed them debating whether to stop bond buying by the Fed in 2013.
"Highly accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future is what's needed in the U.S. economy," Bernanke said yesterday in response to a question after a speech in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Fed chairman spoke just three hours after the central bank released minutes of the June 18-19 gathering showing that about half of the 19 participants in the Federal Open Market Committee (TREFTOTL) wanted to halt $85 billion in monthly bond purchases by year end. At the same time, the minutes showed many Fed officials wanted to see more signs employment is improving before backing a trim to bond purchases known as quantitative easing.