CEOs worry Fed setting 'inflationary fire' -Fisher

NORMAN, Okla., April 10 Tue Apr 10, 2012 1:46pm EDT

NORMAN, Okla., April 10 (Reuters) - Chiefs of U.S. companies are worried the Federal Reserve's super-easy monetary policies could fuel future inflation, a top Fed official said on Tuesday.

"To a person, I am pleaded with, 'please no more liquidity'," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher told students at the University of Oklahoma's Price College of Business.

Fisher said he talks to business contacts at companies large and small, including Wal-Mart, which he did not mention by name but described as a company with more than a million employees headquartered in Arkansas.

Those contacts have told him they are afraid the Fed's policies are an "ember" in what could become an "inflationary fire," he said.

The Fed has kept short-term interest rates near zero since December 2008 and has bought $2.3 trillion in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to push borrowing costs down even further.

But the recovery from the worst downturn since the Great Depression - now well into its third year -- has been slow, and the Fed last month reiterated its plan to keep benchmark rates near zero through late 2014 to help nurse it along.

Fisher, who is not a voter this year on the Fed's policy-setting panel, has long been opposed to the Fed's zero-rate interest policy, and has said he will not support any further easing.

Fisher said he believes that what the economy needs most is better clarity on the future of taxes and regulation.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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