The Fed is blocking progress, but wants us to believe it´s ready to “push the buttons”:
Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy’s sluggish growth and high unemployment, are moving closer to taking new steps to spur activity and hiring.
They may want to pull the “car” out of the mud, but are afraid of getting their “shoes” dirty:
Determined to keep trying to get the economy going without causing inflation, the Fed is exploring other novel measures. One idea mentioned by Mr. Bernanke in his testimony would be to use a facility the Fed calls its discount window to provide cheap credit directly to banks that make new business or consumer loans. But it isn’t clear such a program would do much good when banks already have ample access to cheap credit and this kind of program doesn’t appear to be winning favor at the moment.
The Fed wants to see more “progress” and prays for “escape velocity”. I think they´ve lost the “car keys”, or maybe just don´t know they have it “locked up somewhere”. I can picture Bernanke “kicking the tires” in frustration:
Mr. Bernanke told Congress he wants to see more progress in reducing unemployment and he expressed frustration the economy appears to be “stuck in the mud.” The Fed chairman has spoken in the past about the importance of the economy achieving what he calls “escape velocity”—growth that is fast enough to give the economy forward, self-reinforcing momentum.
Read the whole thing and weep! If the Fed thinks it´s helpless, what can we expect? Just more procrastination:
Several officials have expressed both frustration with the disappointing recovery and a willingness to act if growth and employment don’t pick up. Sandra Pianalto, president of the Cleveland Fed, said in public comments earlier this month she would be prepared to act if weak economic data persisted. Dennis Lockhart, the Atlanta Fed president, said more action could be needed barring a “step-up of output and employment growth.”