Fed's Bullard says new stimulus not needed (by Chris Oliver)
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) - The improving economic outlook in 2012 may no longer warrant ultra-easy monetary conditions, according to a top Federal Reserve official on Friday, who said the central bank should step back from doing much more in terms of monetary stimulus. "The ultra-easy policy has been appropriate until now, but it will not always be appropriate," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard told an audience in Hong Kong on Friday. Bullard listed the Fed actions since January 2008, saying they had helped prevent deflation from taking hold, but also alluded to unintended consequences if the Fed were to go much beyond what it's already done. "Many of the further policy actions the Committee might consider at this juncture would have effects extending out for several years," said Bullard, who is not a voting member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee this year. As the U.S. economy continues to rebound and repair, those policy actions may create an overcommitment to ultra-easy monetary policy."