Fed's Evans wants more easing, Fisher wants limits
The divide underscores the hurdles Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke faces as he tries to win consensus among his fellow policymakers on the central bank's sometimes controversial efforts to bring down the nation's lofty unemployment rate, which registered 7.9 percent last month.
Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and one of the Fed's most outspoken doves, said interest rates should stay near zero until the jobless rate falls to at least 6.5 percent. Such a policy would carry only minimal inflation risks, and could boost growth faster than otherwise, he said.
Evans, who rotates into a voting seat on the Fed's policy-setting panel in January, also said the Fed should step up its program of quantitative easing in the new year to keep its overall level of asset purchases at $85 billion a month for most, if not all, of 2013.
But Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, a self-identified inflation hawk, said the U.S. central bank could get into trouble if it does not set a limit on the amount of assets it is willing to buy.
You cannot expand without limits without horrific consequences, he told reporters on the sidelines of the conference organized by the Levy Economics Institute in Berlin. There is no infinity in monetary policy, we know that from the German experience.
In September the
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