Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fed's Evans says double-dip risk has risen The risks of a double-dip U.S

Fed's Evans says double-dip risk has risen The risks of a double-dip U.S. recession have risen in the last six months, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said. While a new contraction in the economy is still not the most likely scenario, high unemployment and a fractured housing sector make this recovery a fragile one, he said. Against that backdrop, Evans said the Fed's ultra-easy monetary policy is appropriate. In response to the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the U.S. central bank cut short term interest rates to near zero, and also undertook a host of emergency measures such as U.S. Treasury bond and mortgage debt purchases to keep borrowing costs down. In his speech, Evans argued that the securitization process reduces the incentive of lenders to modify troubled home loans. In remarks that focused on the country's housing market weakness and various attempts to ease it, Evans said efforts to modify home loans to prevent foreclosure were a "drop in the bucket" compared with the problem at hand. Meanwhile, the U.S. Fed decided to reinvest proceeds from its mortgage-related assets to avoid unintentionally clamping down on monetary policy when the recovery was showing signs of weakening, Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said.

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