Fed’s Bullard takes stand against more interest rate hikes

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard thinks interest rates have gone high enough and could endanger an otherwise strong economy if they rise more.

Coming off a year in which the Fed hiked rates four times, Bullard told The Wall Street Journal an in interview Tuesday that further policy tightening could jeopardize an otherwise strong economy.

The central bank is “bordering on going too far and possibly tipping the economy into recession,” he said.

“We’ve got a good level of the policy rate today,” he added.

Bullard was not a voting member on the Federal Open Market Committee during its rate-hiking campaign last year. He takes a voting position this year and indicated that with inflation contained and financial markets concerned about more rate increases, it’s time for the Fed to pause.

At the December meeting, FOMC officials indicated two more increases could be coming this year to the benchmark funds rate target, which currently sits between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent. However, markets are pricing in no hikes this year and possibly a rate cut in 2020, which Bullard said he would be open to if conditions deteriorate.

Bullard estimated that “”the committee is coming to my view on this, but we’ll have to see how things play out going forward.”

Read the full Journal report here.