If I Were 'Dictator,' QE Would End Now: Fed's Lacker

CNBC

Richmond Fed President Jeffery Lacker told CNBC Thursday that if you made him "dictator" the Federal Reserve would stop its massive bond purchases. He added that evidence is "sketchy" on whether the quantitative easing program has actually helped the nation's job picture. (Read More Below the Video.)

"I wouldn't have gone down this asset purchase path. I'm in the camp that we should tamper and stop right now," Lacker said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "You have to prepare markets ... but that's what I would do."

(Read More: Fed's Beige Book: Construction, Cars Boost Economy )

The central bank is currently buying $85 billion of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities each month.

The further the Fed goes down the QE route, Lacker argued, the trickier the exit process. He pointed out there's a range of views on that exit strategy, and the Fed's minutes have done a faithful job of portraying that debate.

On the jobs front, Lacker predicted an unemployment rate in the low 7 percent range by the end of the year. He added the jobless rate will get to the Fed's target of 6.5 percent for considering monetary policy changes over time.

(Read More: Fed's Evans Optimistic, Dudley Less So on Jobs Outlook )

In March, just 88,000 non-farm jobs were created, but the unemployment rate did fall to 7.6 percent.

While acknowledging the labor market is struggling, Lacker said it's hard to tell how much of the drop is cyclical or secular.

As for the economy, growth looks to be trending around 2 percent, Lacker said, adding the longer it stays at these levels, the longer lasting this trend will last.


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