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Blinder Says Fed Policy Makers ‘Making It Up as They Go Along’

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. central bankers are improvising as they debate embarking on a second round of unconventional monetary stimulus, said Alan Blinder, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.

“They are making it up as they go along,” Blinder, a Princeton University economist, said in a television interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene.

Blinder said he doesn’t expect the central bank to announce a so-called “shock and awe” strategy of asset purchases after its Nov. 2-3 meeting but will “dribble it out” by buying in smaller increments.

“It does take a lot of money to move the prices of government bonds,” Blinder said, adding that “$500 billion for the total amount is too small.”

The program of asset purchases that policy makers are “about to embark upon is a lot like what the Japanese did,” he said. The U.S. bond market is “deeper and more liquid a market,” which will make it harder for the Fed to lower interest rates through their purchases, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Caroline Salas in New York at csalas1@bloomberg.net; Tom Keene in New York at tkeen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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