Transcripts of the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve from 2002–2008.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I support your recommendation and the announcement as drafted largely for the reasons that President Poole just stated. I also would have been comfortable if you had recommended a slight cut in rates and that had been possible given the market situation. I agree, too, that the risk–reward tradeoff is tilted in such a way that I would rather be a little too easy rather than a little too tight, so I’d take my chances on that side. But in that regard I think we do get a lot of benefit from this statement by breaking up the balance of risks. I might note that I don’t think Roger did quite as bad a job in constructing the old balance of risk statement as he averred in his statement. To me it didn’t quite have the tradeoff in it that you said it did. But the fact that you thought it did and that others were confused by it suggests that it is certainly inadequate to the current situation. So I consider it very helpful to unbundle the risks. I think highlighting the downside risks on inflation will be very beneficial by letting the world know what we are worried about. It reinforces the last paragraph of your testimony and puts that issue on the table more forcefully. I think that will help to influence expectations and to give long-term rates scope to move down if activity doesn’t pick up very much and if inflation comes in lower. And I believe that’s very helpful.

As to the adding up of apples and pears, I think that’s basically what we have to do here at the end of the day. We have to weigh these different factors and add them up. By the way, I like the apples and pears better than the sausage that I used to hear we made around this table. Fruit cup is better than sausage!

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