In response to Bostic, the Fed instruments nonetheless have “juice” and are used when the financial system slows
Raphael Bostic, president of the US Federal Reserve in Atlanta, said the central bank stands ready to provide more political aid if needed to help businesses and people get through the months that may be difficult.
Despite the prospect of at least two vaccines becoming available in the coming months, there are several areas of the economy that need support, according to Bostic.
“The vaccine is definitely positive news and will definitely have a pretty robust recovery once it gets deep enough into the population,” CNBC’s Bostic Steve Liesman said during a Squawk Box interview. “But we really have short term and medium term concerns about the rise of the virus and the impact on business in terms of the things they can produce, in terms of consumers and their willingness to go out.” and buy things. “
He spoke just minutes after the October retail sales report came in a little quieter than expected, and concerns about how consumers would deal with rising coronavirus cases and the prospect of restrictions on activities and stores increased.
With Congressional tax aid running out, and little progress recently in enforcing a bill, the focus has shifted to what else the Fed could do to help. The Fed has already cut short-term lending rates to zero and implemented a number of programs aimed at the functioning of the market and lending, although for the most part they have seen little use.
Bostic didn’t respond directly to whether the Fed would increase the pace of its asset purchases, which are currently at $ 120 billion a month. Like other officials in the past few days, he said the issue was being discussed but no decisions had been taken.
“We are determined to use all of our tools. They have some juice and we will use them as needed,” he said. “The retail sales number gives us a sign, but there are many other things we will learn by then that will give us some pointers on how to think about our next step in terms of assets.” “
Although the Fed’s adoption of Main Street loans and other programs has been relatively low compared to their capacity, Bostic believes they should continue. Fed and Treasury officials are in talks about whether the facilities should remain operational after the year is over. Treasury collateral is required for this.
Bostic said he thinks the programs should continue “until we are well past crisis time”.
One of its primary concerns is the potential for uneven recovery and complacency that can occur when some companies recover and others do not. In his opinion, the Fed should be aggressive there.
“I think the economy is fine but I think the recovery could be more resilient than it is now,” he said. “We know there are communities that are hurt. The virus has hit them extremely hard. We know that small businesses have been on the fringes for quite some time. We need to figure out how we can act to help them do this.” to do this with minimal effort. ” Damage.”