World Economy

Too much made of Fed tapering: Ex-IMF official Lipsky

'Too much made' of tapering issue
'Too much made' of tapering issue

Investors have made too much of the Federal Reserve's plans to start scaling back its asset purchases and emerging economies should instead focus on fiscal and structural reforms to make them more resilient, John Lipsky, the former first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday.

"Too much can be made of the tapering issue, especially as it has been controversial how much impact QE3 (the Federal Reserve's third round of quantitative easing) has even had on the U.S. economy and elsewhere," Lipsky told CNBC from the Skybridge Alternatives Conference in Singapore.

Instead, he said those strains were mainly because of large current deficits in emerging economies and relatively moderate global growth.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in May indicated the possibility of a reduction in the central bank's bond buying program. The news hit emerging market assets and sent the Indian rupee to an all-time low.

Market watchers had expected the Fed announce earlier this month that it would start start scaling back its asset purchases. When it didn't, markets soared and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the hit all-time highs.

"It strikes me that the problems in India and elsewhere in the wake of the May 22 statement about tapering represented a crystallization of a whole lot of things, and not tapering per se," Lipsky said.

He said it was clear that the central banks of advanced economies would make meaningful reductions to their accommodative policies only when fundamentals strengthened.

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