Even though the latest quantitative easing program ("QE2") has barely begun, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is already hinting that there's even more to come. This weekend on 60 Minutes, he said that the Fed will take further action if QE2 isn't enough. Our friends at 24/7 Wall ST wonder if he might be speaking a little too hastily, however. Douglas A. McIntyre writes:
The first issue with a QE3 facility is why QE2 was limited to $600 billion. The Fed and its analysts and governors have been modestly optimistic about US GDP expansion the rest of this year and into next. The Fed's most recent Beige Book showed some very modest recovery in the job market. It has apparently only taken one report-the November unemployment numbers-to cause Bernanke to become more pessimistic about the American economy.
Bernanke may be the chairman of the Fed's monetary policy committee, but he only gets one vote. If his fellow committee members aren't convinced of the need or effectiveness of another round of monetary stimulus, then QE2 could be the end.
Read the full story at 24/7 Wall ST.