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Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is what you might call a bellwether at the central bank, given his closeness to the Great (Retiring) Beard. That means he’s a winner. It also means he may or may not have any strong opinions of his own. Except this one: It is high time that the Fed made a decision on tapering. Now, he’s not saying what that decision should be, but if someone knows, they should probably tell him.
“I now think it is appropriate in coming meetings to put a tapering decision on the table as long as the resulting overall posture of policy preserves a high degree of accommodation,” Mr. Lockhart said. Most refer to any slowing of the current pace of central bank bond-buying as tapering. He added, “if market expectations are that the asset-purchase program will wind down over the coming year, I think that is reasonable.”
Mr. Lockhart told reporters after his speech that “December is certainly a meeting where the issue can be addressed, but I want to be quite confident” economic recovery is on track before cutting Fed bond buys. He added the hotly anticipated November jobs report, due on Friday, could boost his confidence about the Fed cutting back if it is as strong as was seen in October.