Fed’s Williams: We Can Start Unwinding Stimulus This Year

It would make sense if the U.S. economy continues to grow for the Federal Reserve to begin trimming its $4.5 trillion balance sheet towards the end of this year, unwinding extraordinary stimulus deployed during the crisis, a Fed policymaker said on Thursday.

John Williams, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, said this process would take several years and run in parallel, albeit for longer, to increases in the Fed’s interest rates.

“It would make sense to take the next step in terms of starting the normalisation process of our balance sheet,” Williams told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Frankfurt.

“My own view would be towards the end of this year would be a good time to take that next step, assuming the economy progresses.”

The Fed bought Treasury and mortgage-backed bonds on an unprecedented scale in the wake of the financial crisis to help keep



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