Fed’s Kaplan counsels patience on rates, speed on balance sheet

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan smiles during the True Economic Talks event in Mexico City
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan smiles during the True Economic Talks event in Mexico City, Mexico, July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

August 25, 2017

(Reuters) – Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Robert Kaplan repeated on Friday his call for patience on raising interest rates any further, but speed on starting the reduction of the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

The U.S. economy is closer to its so-called “neutral rate” than many think, and investors have become used to the idea that because of any aging population and other factors, rates will stay lower for longer, Kaplan said. With that in mind, he said, the central bank should be “patient” on rate hikes but should begin trimming its portfolio of bonds “as soon as possible.”

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)