"In some sense lower rates beget lower rates," said Piti Disyatat, one of the authors of the paper and a research economist with the Bank of Thailand. If Fed policy decisions also affect the neutral rate, "its ability to act as a benchmark is undermined," he said.


A shift away from the focus on the neutral rate could buttress the arguments of those who feel the Fed should instead pay more attention to financial markets, and particularly to the evolution of financial risks.


In a paper released Thursday evening, [Boston Fed President] Rosengren said the Fed in conjunction with state and local authorities should be preparing more to fight the next recession, including with the possible use of higher capital buffers for banks.

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