Fed’s Rosengren says financial system risks can damage growth

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said persistent risks in the global financial system may slow the economic expansion.

“Concerns about the possibility of future problems cause a substantial reduction in current economic growth,” Rosengren said today according to remarks prepared for a speech in Copenhagen.

Rosengren’s speech to the Institute of International Finance’s membership meeting highlighted the aversion of risk in global financial markets that has prompted stronger demand for the safest assets such as US and German government debt.

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“Policymakers and financial institutions need to continue to improve the robustness of the financial system in order to minimize the impact of this uncertainty,” Rosengren said.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to a record low 1.4387 percent on June 1, following a report that the US economy added 69,000 new jobs in May, the least in a year. The yield has since risen to 1.66 percent. The yield on 10-year German debt fell to 1.17 percent on June 1 and has since increased to 1.34 percent.

The yields show that “investors believe that central banks are more likely to undershoot their inflation targets than overshoot them, and that policy makers need to be particularly attentive to the downside risks of their economic and financial outlooks,” Rosengren said. He didn’t discuss his outlook for monetary policy.

In an interview last week, Rosengren called for additional efforts to boost the US recovery.

The Boston Fed Chief called for financial institutions and their regulators to better understand how capital and liquidity needs can change in moments of “severe stress.”

“A failure to decisively resolve banking problems could cause collateral damage to the global economy,” he said, citing the risk that capital may fail to be allocated to profitable and productive new investment opportunities.

Rosengren, 54, was formerly the head of banking supervision and regulation at the Boston Fed and became its president in 2007.