This Is Bernanke’s Chance To Shift The Focus To Fiscal Policy

By now it should be clear, as The Wall Street Journal and other news organisations have been reporting, that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke isn’t likely to break much new monetary-policy ground in his Jackson Hole speech Friday.

He has already talked about the monetary policy options for boosting a sluggish economy — including, but not limited to, additional securities purchases known as quantitative easing. His constraints to further action are also well-known, including the fact that inflation is higher today than it was last August when he used his Jackson Hole speech to preview a second round of quantitative easing. More easing is an option on the table, but Fed officials aren’t in a hurry to do it. They want to see how growth and inflation unfold in the weeks and months ahead.

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