The Pressure Begins As Morgan Stanley Calls Bernanke's Bluff

Now this is exactly what we've been worried about: that Wall Street would successfully push Obama for an early end to economic stimulus (which also in

Now this is exactly what we've been worried about: that Wall Street would successfully push Obama for an early end to economic stimulus (which also includes extended unemployment benefits, by the way), just as bankers and Republicans did with FDR in 1937 - tipping the country right back into recession. (Krugman's been sounding the alarm for a while.)

I predict Bernanke will withdraw anything that makes it look like they don't have faith in a spring recovery, hoping to use it as a placebo effect.

And as to the millions of us still looking for work, and whose unemployment checks are about to run out? Morgan Stanley responds that there's "never an easy time to do it." I hope Mr. Roach has a big yard, since we're all going to be camping in it:

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd. Chairman Stephen Roach said U.S. policy makers should start to exit emergency stimulus measures now if the economic recovery is as strong as they say it is.

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“There is never an easy time to do it,” Roach said on Bloomberg Television today. “The longer they wait, the greater the chance they sow the seeds for the next bubble. So I’m in favor of an early exit strategy.”

The Federal Reserve on Dec. 16 pledged to keep interest rates “exceptionally low” for an “extended period” even as officials said financial markets were healthy enough to allow most emergency lending programs to expire at the end of this month. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his fellow policy makers cut the benchmark rate almost to zero in December 2008.

“We’ve seen the most extraordinary monetary stimulus on the record in the 15, 16 months post-Lehman Brothers,” Roach said. “We’ll have to see the most extraordinary withdrawal of stimulus on record” and “if this recovery is as strong as Bernanke and markets think it is, the time to exit is now.”

Data since the Nov. 3-4 Fed meeting showed that “economic activity has continued to pick up and that the deterioration in the labor market is abating,” the Open Market Committee said in a Dec. 16 statement. “Financial market conditions have become more supportive of economic growth,” while the economy is “likely to remain weak for a time,” policy makers said.

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