Like a submarine with screen doors, the bank certificate of deposit market continues to list steadily downward, as economists and Wall Street pundits line up to pour cold water on the U.S. economic "recovery."
Just this morning, headlines from the financial press signaled trouble ahead for the economy and financial markets and at least one Federal Reserve official is stating that enough is enough.
Janet Yellen, the Fed’s vice chairwoman, told a group of economists in Denver on Monday that continued low interest rates could be increasingly risky to the health of the U.S. economy.
She told the group that low interest rates tempt U.S. companies to take excessive risks that could damage economic growth. "It is conceivable that accommodative monetary policy could provide tinder for a buildup of leverage and excessive risk-taking," Yellen said.
The speech comes at time when many economists expect the Federal Reserve to kick-start a new program to buy government debt — a move that the Fed made in 2009 and early 2010 (to the tune of $1.7 trillion). The move is designed to keep interest rates down, so businesses and consumers buy more products and services, thus reigniting the economy.
While the Federal Reserve isn’t expected to pour as much money into the government bond market as it did a year ago, the move is seen as a supportive strategy to the Fed’s low interest rate directive, which has its key Fed Fund rate near 0%.
Clearly, the Fed feels it can’t stand still as the economy worsens and consumer confidence tumbles. A new survey from the National Association of Business Economics downgrades the expected growth of the U.S. economy in 2011 — from 3.2% in May 2010 to 2.6% GDP growth in the survey released Monday.