Høydepunkter fra sentralbanksjef Bernankes halvårlige rapport til Kongressen. #dejavu

To ganger i året må, ja må, sentralbanksjefen i USA komme til Kongressen for å fortelle om økonomiens tilstand – sett fra sentralbanken. Dessverre var det gammelt, og ikke særlig hyggelig, nytt:

Reuters om nye tiltak:

The Fed chairman told lawmakers the central bank was considering a range of tools it could employ to help the economy but he hewed closely to the message of watchful waiting that the central bank’s policy panel delivered in June.

«Reflecting its concerns about the slow pace of progress in reducing unemployment and the downside risks to economic growth, the committee made clear at its June meeting that it is prepared to take further action,» Bernanke said in his testimony on the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report.

Ryan Advent ved The Economist:

The backdrop for this testimony is as dark as it’s been in some time. We would expect the American economy to manage trend growth in nominal output of about 5%… 3% real annual GDP growth and 2% annual inflation, give or take. In the 11 quarters since the end of the recession, NGDP growth has come in at more than a 5% annual rate only twice…. [W]e would expect consistent above-trend growth during the recovery to make up some of the lost ground.

Mr Bernanke ought to be brimming with apologies for such miserable performance. Instead, he simply notes:

The Committee again stated that it is prepared to adjust the size and composition of its securities holdings as appropriate to promote a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability…

Bloomberg News påpeker at amerikanske statobligasjoner gikk ned etter Bernankes kommentarer. Det er et dårlig signal:

Bernanke told told Congress that progress in reducing unemployment is likely to be “frustratingly slow” and repeated the Fed is ready to take further action to boost the recovery. Yields on five-year notes fell to a record yesterday after the U.S. reported an unexpected decline in retail sales for a third straight month.

“The economy has failed to sustain the positive momentum we had coming in to the second quarter,” said Carl Lantz, head of interest-rate strategy in New York at Credit Suisse AG, one of 21 primary dealers that trade with the Fed. “Markets are resigned to this very slow and difficult slog that isn’t bringing unemployment down. And the prospect of Fed tightening seems remote, which leaves 1.5 percent yields looking more and more attractive.”

Wall Street Journal om arbeidsledighet:

He also sounded sharp concerns over the labor market, which Fed officials have made clear is central to whether they decide to enact more programs to spur growth. The Fed chief predicted that progress in reducing the country’s 8.2% unemployment rate «seems likely to be frustratingly slow.»

Og de skriver under 40 ord om det viktigste akkurat nå:

Mr. Bernanke repeated a plea for U.S. lawmakers to act sooner rather than later to resolve questions of whether scheduled spending cuts and tax increases will hit the economy at the start of next year.

Det er fullstendig krise når man ikke kan samkjøre penge- og finanspolitikk for å forhindre en ny resesjon. Men det er det amerikanske systemet i sin nåværende form mer enn kapabel til.

Derfor reagerer noen slik etter å ha hørt Bernanke i dag (Brad DeLong):

My calendar this morning:

0800: Curl up into a ball on the floor
0830: Whimper
0900: Lapse into catatonia
0930: Revert to whimpering
1000: Sobbing
10:30: Return to catatonia

(Foto: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas)

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