The Journal’s Hilsenrath is the arbiter of what Bernanke means – and he says that Ben’s Jackson Hole keynote speech:
sought to shoot down criticism of the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies and strengthen the case for new efforts by the central bank to bring down what he described as gravely high unemployment.
He would know … (Ben probably told him what he was trying to do)
The mechanism of easing has not been announced – my guess remains an extension of the low rate pledge to 2015, and around 500bn of LSAPs split between MBS and USTs. The IOER rate seems unlikely to come down from the present 25bps.
As for the US funding for lending buzz that has been the stuff of some sell side stories – it seems a non-starter. The US banking sector is much more fragmented than the UK banking sector, with a greater degree of securitization … So the Fed buying MBS and ABS would achieve much the same thing.
I think it much more likely that the Fed would move down the credit curve in their OMOs than move into direct lending to banks.