September 23, 2009

BOE could still increase printing money

Policy members at the Bank of England voted unanimously, but held different opinions on an asset purchase program, September's meeting minutes show.

Policymakers voted 9-0 to maintain the quantitative easing program at $287 billion, minutes of the Sept. 9-10 meeting show. But the same three policymakers who voted against an $82 billion increase in the program in August said the program might need to be increased further, The Times of London reported Wednesday.

August was the only the third time bank Bank of England Gov. Mervyn King was on the losing end of a policy vote, The Times said.

In August, Timothy Besley, David Miles and King pushed for a $328 billion rise in the qualitative easing program, which is also known as printing money.

The September meeting minutes said, for those members who had preferred a larger stimulus at the August meeting, a larger asset purchase program could still be justified. The bottom line is that the MPC still appears open to further extending quantitative easing if bank lending fails to pick up and/or the recovery shows signs of faltering, said economist Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight.