Fisher said he is “beginning to see signs of speculative excess

Les Etats-Unis filent droit vers un énorme problème : la spéculation financière. C’est en effet ce qu’a affirmé aujourd’hui Richard Fisher, le président de la Réserve fédérale de Dallas (Texas), lors d’une conférence tenue à Berlin, en Allemagne.

«Le risque est d’assister prochainement à une activité spéculative extraordinaire», a-t-il déclaré, en expliquant que la Réserve fédérale (Fed) avait injecté tellement de liquidités sur le marché qu’il y en a maintenant «trop en circulation».

En conséquence, nombre de personnes vont être tentées de spéculer pour empocher des gains rapides et faciles.

Extrait de: Fed’s Fisher Says No More Stimulus Needed in U.S. After June, By Caroline Salas and Jeffrey Black , Bloomberg,  Mar 22, 2011

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard W. Fisher said that no additional monetary stimulus will be necessary after the central bank completes its asset purchase program in June.

“No further accommodation is needed after June,” including by tapering the central bank’s purchases, the regional bank chief, who votes on monetary policy this year, said in a speech today in Frankfurt. “Doing so would only prolong the injustice that we have inflicted” on savers through inflation, he said.

The comments by Fisher, who since last year has questioned the Fed’s $600 billion of Treasury purchases, are the first by a policy maker since the central bank’s March 15 meeting in Washington. Officials at the gathering kept the purchase plan in place, while saying the U.S. economy is on “firmer footing.” Fisher said he would have voted against the central bank’s purchase program if he’d had the ability last year.

“I would have voted against QE2, had I had the vote,” the 62-year-old bank president said at the Frankfurt Finance Summit 2011. “We’ve done a bit too much.”

The U.S. recovery faces some hurdles, as housing starts plunged last month to the lowest level in almost a year and wholesale prices rose more than forecast, according to economic data released on March 16.

Still, production at U.S. factories increased for a sixth month in February, indicating manufacturing will keep stoking the economy and underscoring the Fed’s view that the expansion is strengthening, according to a Fed report released March 17.

Stocks Gained

U.S. stocks have gained since the Fed announced its second round of large-scale asset purchases in November, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rising about 8 percent. The S&P 500 increased 1.5 percent yesterday in New York trading to 1,298.38.

Fisher said he is “beginning to see signs of speculative excess” in the U.S., evidenced in the “fresh flow of money” into the stock market, a surge in so-called covenant-lite loans and the re-leveraging by private equity firms.

“There’s lots of liquidity sloshing around the U.S. financial system,” Fisher said. “We are seeing signs of all the intoxication that typically takes place when we have the ambrosia of cheap and readily available capital.”

The central bank purchased $1.7 trillion of mortgage debt and Treasuries through March 2010 to pull the U.S. out of the recession. The $600 billion plan is the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing, also known by economists and investors as “QE2.”

Policy makers have also left the central bank’s benchmark federal funds rate in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008, and pledged for the past two years to keep it “exceptionally low” for an “extended period.”

‘Getting Closer’

“The real question now is, ‘When do we stop accommodation?’” Fisher said to reporters after the speech. “I think we’re getting closer to that period.”

The jobless rate unexpectedly fell to 8.9 percent in February, the lowest in almost two years, and employers added 192,000 jobs in a sign of growing confidence in the recovery, Labor Department figures showed on March 4.

Fisher reiterated his view that Congress must undertake fiscal reforms to create prosperity in the U.S.

The Fed’s preferred price gauge, which excludes food and fuel, rose 0.8 percent in January from a year earlier, matching December’s year-over-year gain, the lowest in five decades of record-keeping.

While “overall conditions in the labor market appear to be improving gradually,” any inflationary effects from increased commodity costs will be “transitory,” the FOMC said in its statement last week.

The last time Fisher was a voting member of the FOMC in 2008, he dissented five times in favor of tighter policy. He has led the Dallas Fed since 2005 and is one of four regional bank presidents who rotated into voting slots this year.