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Fed Considers Action

Job numbers are bad. The Fed weighs juicing the American economy – again. Should it do it now? We’ll hear the arguments.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks to educators in the board room of the Federal Reserve in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, during a town hall meeting. (AP)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks to educators in the board room of the Federal Reserve in Washington, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, during a town hall meeting. (AP)

Last month, Ben Bernanke was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming talking “grave concern” about American jobs.  Last week, the numbers came in.  Worse than expected.  And now, this week in Washington, the Fed is looking at big intervention again to try to move the US economy.

It’s part of the Federal Reserve Bank’s stated job to defend employment.  But its tools are wearing thin.  Republicans mutter that the timing is political.  Mitt Romney says it would fuel inflation.  But QE3 may be on the way.

This hour, On Point:  Should the Fed juice the US economy again?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ben White, Wall Street correspondent from Politico and author of the “Morning Money” column covering the intersection between finance and public policy.

Alan Blinder, professor of economics at Princeton University.

Martin Eichenbaum, professor of economics at Northwestern University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “As the Federal Reserve prepares to take what is expected to be new action to stimulate the economy this week, divisions at the central bank may be undermining its efforts to speed up economic growth and lower unemployment.”

Bloomberg “Oil was little changed in New York as traders waited to see whether the Federal Reserve will announce measures to revive the economy this week.”

CNBC “After lackluster job creation in August, economists and the markets are readying for another round of Fed asset purchases, or quantitative easing. The only question now is do policy makers act in September or wait until the fiscal drag pulls down the U.S. growth rate?”

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