BlackRock’s Koesterich Says Bernanke’s Comments Were as Expected

Russ Koesterich, the San Francisco- based global chief investment strategist for the IShares unit of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), comments on U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s statement today in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Bernanke said the central bank still has tools to stimulate the economy. He didn’t provide details or signal when or whether policy makers might deploy them. Koesterich, whose firm oversees $3.66 trillion, spoke in a telephone interview.

“This is pretty much what we expected. At least, the market can stabilize. It’s a very different circumstance from last year when you had the threat of deflation. You lost that economic rationale for another round of quantitative easing. You have a case where interest-rates are very low. It was not clear what the Fed expanding their balance-sheet would do in the near- term.

“The economic data points are likely going to continue to be weak, but the market already knows that. If you have period when economic data is poor, but not as bad as people expect, you can actually see some relief in the market.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at rnazareth@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Baker at nbaker7@bloomberg.net.

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