Lucas Presses Federal Reserve Chair on Consequences of Low Interest Rates

Feb 25, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, today questioned Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about the impact of the central bank’s quantitative easing policy on older Americans and those saving for retirement. The Federal Reserve’s policies have artificially restrained interest rates, threatening the value of traditionally safer assets such as bonds or bank deposits.

At a House Financial Services hearing Lucas noted, “Over the course of the last six years, policy decisions have been made… dramatically causing interest rates to be less than they would have normally been, and at the same time, having an aggressive buying program on certain assets that would in effect hold up their value above and beyond what they would normally be worth that there is a cost there.”

Lucas expressed concern about the consequences of these policies on older Oklahomans and those approaching retirement. “Someone is paying for the economic methadone we’ve been existing on for six years,” Lucas said. In response, Yellen acknowledged that “it’s been a tough period for savers…retirees especially”.

Addressing concerns from older constituents, Lucas requested numbers from the Federal Reserve reflecting the transfer of value between one asset class to another as a result of quantitative easing.

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