Mitchell Reports | September 13, 2012
>>> as many market watches are expected the federal reserve today indicated it will buy $40 billion of mortgages per month until the jobs outlook improves the third round of quantitative easing . cnbc's senior economics reporter steve liesman joins me now from the fed. we're going to to get the news conference from chairman bernanke but this was the best telegraphed move in a long timing. this indicated real concern about the softness in the jobs market.
>> i think it does. you're correct, andrea, part of it was telegraphed. i think it's actually more than the market and some of the closer fed observers expect. and that's because it says $40 billion a month. it really open-ended. there's a statement in there that says, you know what? if the market doesn't improve we'll do more. it also says, even as the recovery strengthens we'll keep our easing monetary policy in place. the dollar amounts, right. the language, though, suggests the fed may be throwing the kitchen sink at the problem and warning that the stove and refrigerator could be next.
>> some republicans critical of that. this shows that bernanke's got the lead and they're plowing ahead as you point out, more than expected.
>> i think that's right. i think it does show political independence on the part of the federal reserve . but there is one thing to think about, i don't think any fed official would admit this, the idea they're only doing mortgages and not mortgage backs and treasuries, it may be a political element to that, and by that i mean, who is now going to step forward and say, you know what? the fed buying mortgages to drive down the average american 's mortgage rate, that's a bad thing. so perhaps there's a little bit of nod to the charged political climate we're in now by the federal reserve buying the mortgages here.
>> let me ask you a quick question on oil prices , beginning to move -- beginning to react to the developments in the middle east .
>> reporter: i think that's part of it. but also as you know, these oil prices have gone up when the federal reserve has taken actions like this. a big debate among economists as to whether or not the fed is driving up inflation. either way i don't think the average guy at the gas pump cares why it's going up. it's going up and that's going to hurt spending and it's going to hurt consumers and that's something the economy has to deal with, along with the lackluster growth from the financial crisis it's already dealing with.
>> steve liesman , the best in the business, thank you for taking time out on a