Dallas Federal Reserve Bank president speaks at ACU event

Posted October 14, 2011

Businesses can access credit and capital easily enough, but uncertainty about future taxes and regulations is keeping them from moving forward with expansion and hiring, said Richard W. Fisher, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

"The question is, what will incent people to take that money ... and put people back to work," said Fisher, speaking before a group of about 130 banking, civic and business leaders at Abilene Christian University's Hunter Welcome Center.

Fisher is one of 10 members of the Federal Open Market Committee, which meets regularly to set monetary policy. At the most recent meeting last month, the committee approved a plan to purchase $400 billion of Treasury securities as a way to keep longer-term interest rates low and perhaps spur the economy — a move Fisher and two others voted against.

"There's a limit to what a central bank can do," Fisher told the crowd, explaining that a central bank cannot provide incentives "for those that create jobs, which are private businesses, to engage the gas pedal."

He said the Federal Reserve is doing everything it can to improve the economy "without vacating our sacred mission to keep inflation at bay.

"Right now, the issue that our country is plagued with is unemployment," Fisher said. "Too many people are out of work. Too many people are out of work for too long, and it's important that they be put back to work."

Fisher blamed years of politics for creating poorly funded programs with large financial deficits, blaming "Republicans and Democrats alike" for driving "fiscal policy into the ditch."

In answer to a question from the crowd about the cause of the recent financial crisis, Fisher remarked about the nature of economics.

"The fact is, you're still driven by human behavior, and humans are driven to excess, and sometimes are in a defensive crouch and won't proceed," Fisher said, adding, "now, here we are in a defensive crouch, seemingly afraid."

Fisher last spoke in Abilene in 2007 but regularly travels to meet with business and banking leaders in the district served by the bank.

Read the full story at ReporterNews.com.

Photo caption: Richard Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, speaking with ACU senior accounting and finance major Dan Antwine.