By Barry Bluestone | Boston.com | August 7, 2012
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has been blessed with extraordinary leadership since the 1960s, if not longer. Eric Rosengren has continued that tradition since he became president of the bank in 2007. Now he is speaking out calmly and intelligently about the state of the economy and the need for his Federal Reserve colleagues in Washington to take greater action to accelerate economic growth. With the domestic economy’s annual growth rate slowing to 1.5 percent this past spring, the national unemployment rate rising to 8.3 percent, and Europe’s economy on the brink of another deep recession, Rosengren is urging the Fed to keep interest rates low by aggressively buying up bonds – possibly trillions of dollars of them.
In particular, the Boston Fed President would like to see the Fed buy mortgage securities in order to lower home loan rates further. This would make it possible for more households to refinance their mortgages at lower rates, leaving them with additional money each month to purchase other goods and services. It would also encourage renter households with good credit ratings to purchase homes, encouraging more housing construction. Lower interest rates would likewise help families pay off credit card debt. Interest rates are already at an all-time low, but driving them down further could spur at least a bit more investment activity. Read More