It's been a busy day for Federal Reserve presidents: Three of the 12 have made pronouncements today. This morning (really, really early this morning, since he was in Hong Kong), we heard from Chicago's Chuck Evans. Now, we hear from two others, San Francisco's John Williams and Atlanta's Dennis Lockhart, who've just finished their turns on the FOMC, on matters QE.
The gist is, it's still going to go on for a while, but it's not going to go on forever.
“I anticipate that continued purchases of mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasury securities will be needed well into the second half of 2013,” Williams said today in the text of a speech he’s giving in Half Moon Bay, California….
“The Fed must do what it can to help the economy improve,” Williams said at the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium.
In another sign of growing reticence about the Fed's bond-buying quantitative easing program within the central bank, Lockhart, seen as a policy centrist who tends to fall in line with Chairman Ben Bernanke, said the open-ended approach to bond buys does not mean there are no constraints on the policy.
"‘Open ended' does not mean ‘without bound.' The program is not ‘QE Infinity,'" he said in a speech to the Rotary Club of Atlanta.
And now the Beard himself is speaking, taking questions from Twitter users for the first time.
Fed's Williams Says QE Probably Needed Well Into 2013 [Bloomberg]
Open-ended bond buys not "infinite": Fed's Lockhart [Reuters]
Got questions for Ben Bernanke? Take them to Twitter this afternoon [WaPo Wongblog]