WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY, AUGUST 30TH
WHERE: CNBC’S “SQUAWK BOX”
Following are excerpts from the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart today on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Following is a link to the video of the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000112786&play=1.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
LOCKHART ON EASING:
I think it's a close call, really. If we were to see-- the deterioration from this point, let's say-- a persistence of job growth numbers that were well below 100%-- 100,000 a month, if we were to see that-- or if we were to see signs of disinflation-- that could signal-- the onset of deflation, then there wouldn't be much of a question about policy. But now I think the policy question is-- how much will you gain and, of course, what are the costs-- short and longer term.
LOCKHART ON INTEREST RATES:
Oh, I think it certainly has had-- a big effect on interest rates. It's kept interest rates relatively-- low, of course. Even fluctuation. Of the 10 year treasury has moved up and down-- often because of safe haven flows that come in and out. Well-- but overall-- when I talk to business people, for example, they say, "We have never seen interest rates so low."
LOCKHART ON RATES:
rates could be lower and-- mortgage rates, for example, could edge down enough to qualify-- some more-- borrowers. some more homeowners. I don't think the level of interest rates is the problem. That's what I hear when I talk to business people all the time. But I-- do think-- further stimulus, if we were to put that in place would have some positive effects.
LOCKHART ON POLITICS:
It has no effect. It-- politics simply do not come up. The FOMC-- in my experience the FOMC stays focused on simply what's good for the economy over the longer term. What's good for the country. And there is no discussion or minimal discussion of politics.
LOCKHART ON DRAGHI ABSENCE:
I think it's a signal that-- all hands are on deck in Europe. And they're paying attention to their issues, which is important for our economy. The spillovers into the U.S. economy have not been severe, but it certainly has contributed to the uncertainty pall that we're dealing with. And-- the fact that they would actually stay home in August-- I think is a good thing.
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