Bernanke Lieutenants Tell Dissidents Where to Stick It

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So dread dissent is rising in within the hallowed halls of Ben Bernanke's fabulous marble treehouse: Time to send out some underlings to twist some arms.

First, San Fran Fed Pres an Renaissance man John Williams, who weighed in yesterday in yesterday before going to work on his acceptance speech for Sunday night's Oscars:

"The Fed's dual mandate from Congress is to pursue maximum employment and price stability. We are missing on both of these goals... Unemployment is far too high and inflation is too low," said San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams.

As a result, Williams, who is not a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee this year, said the U.S. economy needs "powerful and continuing" policy stimulus.

"I anticipate that purchases of mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasury securities will be needed well into the second half of this year," he said in remarks prepared for delivery to The Forecasters Club in New York.

St. Louis Fed Pres James Bullard, whose only famous namesake appears to be a marginal retired British soccer player, goes the other John Williams one better. Not just well into the second half: "for a long time." No one's going to call Bullard, who does serve on the FOMC this year, a dissident.

“Fed policy is very easy, and it’s going to stay easy for a long time,” Bullard said in an interview today on CNBC television. “That’s my main message this morning….”

“The idea of tapering the program at some point in the future may be gaining steam on the committee,” Bullard said. “The committee should acknowledge gradual improvement when we see it or when we think we see it, and then gradually taper back the program.”

Fed's Williams: keep buying bonds well into 2nd half of 2013 [Reuters]
Fed's Bullard Says 'Main Message' Is Policy Will Stay Easy [Bloomberg]

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Jeffrey Lacker Hopes Ben Bernanke's Right. But He's Pretty Sure He's Wrong.

It takes a strong man to look at Ben Bernanke's gentle, bearded face and tell him to piss off. Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, is just such a man. Lacker's used every opportunity to let Bernanke and his rotating cast of puppets that they're wrong about the stimulus and that they're imperiling what used to be the Fed's only mission, controlling inflation. And he's apparently doing so at substantial risk to his own standing, because while bickering, name-calling and kicking-and-screaming disagreement is all the rage every else in the District of Columbia, dissent does not go over well at the marble Politburo on Constitution Avenue NW.