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Dallas Fed president looks at Fed's limits

Jan. 20, 2011 at 2:52 PM

DALLAS, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher says he's interested in not only what the Fed can do but also what it can't.

Fisher, who will become a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee at its Jan. 25-26 meeting, said he wants to know what the limits are to the U.S. monetary policy, The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday.

"We've done about as much as I think we can do, barring a reversal in the direction of the economy," Fisher said.

During the last three years, the Fed, led by Chairman Ben Bernanke , took a number of extraordinary steps in response to the U.S. recession and its aftermath, including a $600 billion bond-buying program scheduled to last through June

"The real question is, 'Do you believe recovery is real and self-sustaining?'" David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's, told the Morning News. "And therefore, could you start removing some of the stimulus that the Fed's been shoving into the system the last few years?"

Fisher said one likely question is when and how the Fed should pull back.

"You don't want to do it too early, because you don't want to put a stick in the spokes of recovery," he said. "But you also don't want to do it too late, because then you get behind the curve and it's tougher to fight inflation if inflation starts to pick up."

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