Skip to content
Subscriber Only

Bernanke Stirs Most Dissent Since 1992 on Low Rate Period

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s plan to hold interest rates near zero through at least mid-2013 provoked the most opposition among voting policy makers in 18 years as central bank consensus frayed.

The Fed chief achieved unanimous support on the Federal Open Market Committee in 2008 when he lowered interest rates to near zero, and in 2009 when he launched $1.73 trillion in bond purchases. Last year, his plan to buy another $600 billion in assets drew one dissent. Yesterday, three policy makers dissented from the decision to apply a specific date to the Fed’s low rate pledge for the first time.