Economy

Fed's Bullard: Let's see what the rate cut did before approving more

Key Points
  • St. Louis Fed President James Bullard has been one of the biggest advocates for a cut, but he does not commit to further move.
  • He says although there's been a "sea change" in Federal Reserve policy over the past several months, it needs time to make its way through the system before its effects can be gauged.
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Fed's Bullard: Monetary policy cannot react to day-to-day trade headlines

There has been a "sea change" in Federal Reserve policy over the past several months that will need time to make its way through the system before its effects can be gauged, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said Tuesday.

Easier monetary policy has resulted in a plunge in government bond yields, taking the benchmark 10-year Treasury note down from around 2% in mid-June to closer to around 1.74% Tuesday. That drop comes less than a week after the Fed voted to lower its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to a range of 2% to 2.25%.

Bullard has been one of the biggest advocates for a cut, but in a speech he delivered in New York, he did not commit to further moves.

"While additional policy action may be desirable, the long and variable lags in the effects of monetary policy suggest that the effects of previous actions are only now beginning to impact macroeconomic outcomes," he said in a slide presentation to the National Economists Club.

His comments reiterated statements he made in a Wall Street Journal interview, telling the paper that he wants to see the impact of the rate cut before assessing further moves.

In his speech, Bullard noted the impact that the escalating trade war has had to stunt economic growth and said the inverted yield curve also "continues to threaten."

Markets widely expect another quarter percentage point rate reduction at the September meeting and in fact are pricing in a small probability of a half-point cut.

"The bottom line is that U.S. monetary policy is considerably more accommodative today than it was as of late last year," Bullard said.