When I consider what Kocherlakota was saying last spring to people…
Fed’s Kocherlakota Wants to See Jobless Rate Cut to 5.5%: President Narayana Kocherlakota said the central bank should hold the main interest rate near zero until unemployment falls below 5.5 percent, marking the first time he has linked policy to a specific economic goal.
“As long as the FOMC is continuing to satisfy its price stability mandate, it should keep the fed funds rate extraordinarily low until the unemployment rate has fallen below 5.5 percent,” Kocherlakota said today in the text of remarks prepared for a speech in Ironwood, Michigan, referring the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee….
Kocherlakota today embraced a proposal by Chicago Fed President Charles Evans to calibrate monetary policy based on specific economic goals. Evans advocates holding to near-zero rates until the jobless rate falls below 7 percent or inflation reaches 3 percent.
“My thinking has been greatly influenced by his,” Kocherlakota said, referring to Evans. “By increasing monetary accommodation, the Committee can better meet its employment mandate while still satisfying its price-stability mandate,” Kocherlakota said to business and community leaders at Gogebic Community College….
Kocherlakota said today the central bank should give itself leeway by allowing inflation to deviate from its 2 percent target, saying the FOMC could contemplate raising rates if inflation rises above 2.25 percent. History suggests it’s unlikely inflation will rise above that point as long as the jobless rate remains above 5.5 percent, he said.
“The current economic impact of both forms of accommodation -- low interest rates and asset purchases -- depends on when the public believes that accommodation will be removed,” Kocherlakota said.
Confident the Fed will keep the fed funds rate near zero until achieving 5.5 percent unemployment, “people will spend more today, and that will drive up economic activity,” he said.