Fed's Fisher: Inflation is not threat at moment (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Inflation is not a threat to the economy at the moment, said Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank on late Thursday. "Inflation has been coming down, not going up. I don't see that as a problem presently," Fisher said in an interview with Fox Business Network. The data show inflation is coming down to a 2% rate, Fisher said. A drop in natural gas prices is helping offset higher prices at the pump, he said. Fisher said the economy was in better shape and gaining momentum. He repeated his bank's opposition to another round of bond buying, or quantitative easing, by the central bank. "We will not support further quantitative easing under these circumstances because there is a lot of money lying on the sidelines, lying fallow," specifically mentioning that banks have $1.6 trillion in excess reserves and corporations have over $2 trillion in cash sitting on the sidelines. "Why would you put more out there when what we've already put out there is not being used?" he asked. Fisher repeated that the federal government should break up the biggest banks to end the implicit government guarantee of these institutions known as "too-big-to fail." "I just think there is too much concentration in the industry," Fisher said. He said the big banks were "gumming up the engine" of the economy.