Two-Way Street

What Congress Could Learn From One Fed Official


The president of the Dallas Fed has long disagreed with his colleagues about the need for another round of Fed easing. Nevertheless, the Fed is moving forward with the program. Is Fisher pouting and fussing? Is he trying various gambits to derail what the group as a whole decided? No. He’s being a gentleman.

“A decision was made,” Fisher said. ”I may disagree with the decision. I understand its logic and we'll see if it works.”

Of course, he did point a finger at Congress and note that all the Fed’s actions to date may be for naught if Congress can’t “get their act together” and straighten out the country’s finances. He noted that businesses large and small aren’t going to invest if they are uncertain about tax levels and regulatory costs. And if businesses won’t invest, jobs won’t come, no matter how much money the Fed pumps into the economy.

It’s a refrain we’ve heard many times from guests on CNBC. No one wants to make big moves with an uncertain future.

Unfortunately, Congress getting its act together isn’t likely until January, when the fiscal cliff is upon us and our elected officials are forced to act. Everyone at this point wants to see who controls what…White House, Senate, House…after the elections. And whoever loses will no doubt look for as many parliamentary maneuvers as possible to impede moves by the winner, but it filibusters or riders or rules committee moves, to hamper movement until the new Congress and President take over.

You can expect more uncertainty, more market angst, and even some worries about our country’s debt rating. Unless, of course, more folks in Congress take a lesson from Fisher.


Allen Wastler is managing editor of Follow him on Twitter @AWastler. You can catch his commentary on CNBC Radio. And check out his fiction.