The phasing out of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary stimulus will help emerging markets by ridding them of a source of turbulence, according to Stanford University economics professor John Taylor.
“If it’s done in a clear, predictable way, it’s going to be positive,” Taylor said Thursday in an interview in Cartagena, Colombia. “Emerging markets have been buffeted back and forth by this policy. They were absorbing all of these capital flows and they had to adjust their monetary policy.”
U.S. policy makers have held the federal funds rate at zero to 0.25 percent since December 2008, while engaging in an asset purchase program, which more than quadrupled its balance sheet to $4.4 trillion. The policy triggered complaints from emerging market policy makers including Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who said it was generating unwelcome capital flows.
Colombia, which has hit its fiscal and inflation targets, will have an easier time in coping with changes in U.S. policy than Brazil, which has gotten “a little off-track,” Taylor said.
Colombian consumer prices rose 2.9 percent in July from a year earlier, making it the only major Latin American economy with below-target inflation, while prices in Brazil rose 6.5 percent over the same period.
The federal funds rate would be about 1.25 percent if policy makers had followed his rule for guiding monetary policy, according to Taylor. The U.S. economy expanded 2.4 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, from 1.9 percent growth in the first quarter, which Taylor said is “definitely not good enough.”
“It’s a steady, disappointing slow growth,” Taylor said. “It’s very disappointing, because our recovery never had growth like we’ve had in past recoveries. We used to have growth of 4 percent to 8 percent.”
Policies including a normalization of interest rates and corporate tax reform, could boost U.S. growth, according to Taylor.
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