The Federal Reserve System's best-known economic contrarian was again in his element and roiling against current monetary policy during the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's recent annual agricultural symposium.
Kansas City Fed President Tom Hoenig blistered the Federal Open Market Committee, a body he served on for a term ending last year, and let it be known that last November's "QE2 action" was a bad idea.
QE2 stands for a second round of quantitative easing by FOMC to buy an additional $600 billion of longer-term Treasury securities by the end of second quarter 2011 at a pace of about $75 billion per month.
Despite that assessment, Hoenig said he expects the U.S. economy will continue to grow at a modest pace, somewhere between 2.5 percent and--on a good quarter--3 percent for at least next year and perhaps the year beyond.
Hoenig's outlook is in the middle of Fed forecasts for 2011 but at the low end for 2012 and 2013.
Overall, the 12-member Federal Reserve Board sees U.S. growth at between 2.7 percent and 2.9 percent this year, 3.3 percent to 3.7 percent in 2012, and 3.5 percent to 4.2 percent in 2013.