This Week with J. Mark Nickell & Co. – September 25, 2013

As St. Augustine spoke of the need for restraint, so also the Fed has spoken of its need to begin restraining its large scale asset purchase program. Though the initial bond-buying program may have helped stimulate demand in 2010 and 2011, keeping it going is now doing very little to stimulate economic growth and employment. In its announcement September 18 the Fed showed that it was as reluctant as the great Saint to implement restraint by tapering the size of its asset purchases; its message was “not yet”. Critics of the Fed believe the Fed’s unconventional program creates economic imbalances, stokes inflation, and provides markets a short-term, unsustainable “sugar high”. The unconventional program will continue, at least for a while. Markets were positively surprised by the announcement.