Fisher: The time for banks to support the economy is now
Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, wants to end all government support to the economy. Now. Fisher called for the immediate end for the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program and a pullout of all federal support for America's financial institutions. He made his comments while speaking at the 2011 Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference at Southern Methodist University in Dallas Friday. In his opinion, the country's largest banks are maintaining huge cash reserves and surviving well in the post-recession economy. But this is at the expense of job creation and wider lending — factors that would improve economic conditions across the nation, according to Fisher. "Thanks to monetary policy (banks) now have the ability to put Americans back to work," he said. Federal Reserve actions undertaken the past few years averted a depression, he said, but the central bank's monetary policy decisions tripled the federal government's balance sheet. "No amount of further accommodation from the Fed would be wise," he added. In response to a question from HousingWire on the lack of agreement of the other Fed governors to his opinion, Fisher said his reputation as a lone dissenter was overblown. "We communicate openly. I am not alone. I call it as I see it." Fisher also admitted housing remains a drag on the economy. "The home used as an ATM, as a source of cash flow, is no longer happening," he said. "It's depressing. But I do not believe we need additional liquidity to correct this." Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.