BOE: rates could stay low for “quite some time”

[Skip to the end]

Yes, as previously discussed, announcing a term structure of Fed funds levels would be far more effective in bringing rates down than securities purchases.

But that closes the door to rate hikes for that period of time, which is exactly what markets discount with the current term rate structure.

Especially with crude and commodities going up and the dollar going down, as markets discount that at some point the Fed will react to that ‘imported inflation’ with rate hikes.

Meanwhile the current ‘mercantalist’ Fed is fine with a lower dollar hoping it will help the US export its way to trend GDP growth rather than get there by domestic debt and consumption. Or at least reduce the marginal propensity to import that they fear could drain demand and abort the recovery. Unfortunately the preference for exports over domestic consumption translates to a lower standard of living via a reduction in real terms of trade.

That’s what was happening last year about this time when the great Mike Masters inventory liquidation hit and it all went bad. This time around there isn’t any excess inventory to break prices and cap utilization/employment is way down and still falling some, and rest of world economies appear too weak to absorb substantial US exports.

And the Saudis are back in control of crude prices after a very surprisingly small fall in world consumption given the size and scope of the international slowdown.

BoE’s Barker says rates could stay low for “quite some time”

MPC member Kate Barker told the Leicester Mercury newspaper that there
remained question marks over the sustainability of the recovery and that
interest rates “could stay low for quite some time”. Ms Barker echoed
Paul Tucker’s comments yesterday in saying that it would take some
months yet for the MPC to judge how robust the turnaround in activity
was: “The really important question is (whether) there’s a pick up in
the economy and if people can sustain that so it continues on to autumn.
That would be one of the most encouraging signs,” she said.