The decision to lay out a plan for the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) to scale back its asset purchase program was "inappropriately timed," a member of the Fed policy-setting committee said on Friday. ( James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, said he felt that it was not a good time for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to authorize the Fed chairman Ben Bernanke to outline a more elaborate plan for reducing the pace of asset purchases, according to a statement on the bank's website.
Bullard, widely known as a inflation hawk, said a more prudent approach would be to wait for more tangible signs that the economy was strengthening and that inflation was on a path to return toward target before making such announcement.
Bullard is a voting member of the FOMC this year. He voted against the concluding statement released Wednesday after the Fed policy meeting. He reiterated his stance Friday that Fed policymakers should do more to signal that they are willing to defend their 2 percent inflation goal in light of low readings for the consumer price growth.
He also called the announcement of an approximate timeline a step away from "state-contingent monetary policy," which he considered as best central bank practice. "Policy actions should be undertaken to meet policy objectives, not calendar objectives," he noted.
The Fed chairman Bernanke on Wednesday set the stage for winding down the easy money policy, saying the central was likely to dial back its 85-billion-dollar monthly bond buying later this year, before bringing it to an end by the middle of next year. His comments resonated around the global, as stocks, bond and commodity prices tumbled.