St. Louis Fed President James Bullard: Rate Hikes Are Coming To An End

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CNBC Excerpts: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Rep. Kevin Brady Speak with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Today

WHEN: Today, Thursday, February 21, 2019

WHERE: CNBC’s “Squawk Box

The following are unofficial excerpts from CNBC interviews with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” (M–F 6AM – 9AM) today, Thursday, February 21st.

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The following are links to video from the interview on

Watch CNBC's full interview with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

Fed rate hikes are likely 'coming to an end,' says St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

December rate hike was 'a step too far,' says St. Louis Fed President James Bullard

James Bullard on the Normalization Process Coming To End:

The message from my point of view is that the normalization process in the United States is coming to an end. On rates, we’ve already raised rates about 225 basis points from where they were initially. On the balance sheet, we’ve got that decision hopefully coming up in the next couple of meetings. So I think we’re in a good place today.

James Bullard on Rates:

I actually think we’re a little bit tight right here, a little bit too high with the rate. But I have a minority view on that, compared to the committee, I’d say.

James Bullard on Political Factors:

The idea that there are political factors going in, I think those are dots that shouldn’t be connected. The committee has a mandate to keep the inflation rate low and keep employment high, and we try to do the best we can on that. It’s a big committee, you’ve got lots of opinions on the committee. The joint judgment of the committee tends to be very good. And I think we made the right call on this.

James Bullard on the Fed:

By the time you get to December, markets were expecting a rate hike. And we had penciled it in, we kind of said it’s coming. So that creates, in my opinion, it puts the committee in a box. The markets weren’t very volatile, you might’ve wanted to step back at that meeting and not do it. But then because of the dot plot and the SEP I think we were in a little bit of a box there.

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)

The following is a link to video from the interview on

Rep. Kevin Brady on Tax Cut Working:

Everything prove this tax cut is working. We see it in the economic area from everywhere… But, look, blue-collar employment is surging. Low-income workers are seeing the highest wages in a decade. Small business startups are skyrocketing. And, I still believe at the end of the day, while revenues were relatively flat last year, even with the individual tax cuts, we saw $105 billion more in individual -- in payroll taxes.

Rep. Kevin Brady on the Spending Deficit:

But it is on the spending side where we -- that drives the deficits. We did have-- even with the tax cuts fully in place, relatively flat on the revenue side, and the difference between 2%, that old slow growth we were getting used to, and 3% for Federal revenues, is about $44 trillion more for Federal coffers over time. We think growth matters. Unfortunately, the spending still continues at a higher rate. That's where we really have to get serious.

Rep. Kevin Brady on the IRS:

The IRS is not using the resources it has at hand. In some cases there's been a political agenda. In other cases they really were distracted, diverted to implementation of the Affordable Care Act. So we really think a refocus first will tell us what type of customer service we can get. And, I will tell you, a lot of that tax collection debt that goes uncollected comes from an overly complicated tax code. We hope, you know, with the new changes we made, we'll actually be helpful in that area.

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