U.S. interest rates, which the Federal Reserve have kept near zero since December 2008, are too high, a top Federal Reserve official said on Thursday, citing subdued inflation and "unacceptably high" unemployment as evidence.
"Interest rates are not low enough," Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Narayana Kocherlakota said at a Town Hall here. The fact that the Fed has not been able to achieve its twin objectives of maximum employment and 2-percent inflation shows that rates are higher than they should be, he said.
Asked why then is the Fed reducing its bond-buying program, which is aimed at pushing down borrowing costs, Kocherlakota said he had no good answer.
"Given where we are with inflation, I think that it's challenging to know why we are removing stimulus from the economy at the rate that we are," he said.