Fed's Fisher says he would support tapering QE3 when time comes

SAN FRANCISCO Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:11pm EST

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SAN FRANCISCO Feb 4 (Reuters) - A top U.S. Federal Reserve official critical of the central bank's policy of monetary easing on Monday said he would support tapering, rather than stopping, the Fed's current bond-buying program once the labor market improves.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard last week advocated such an approach.

"I feel the same way," Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio. Even though he was against the program when the Fed began it last September, stopping it suddenly would not be a good idea, he added.

The U.S. Federal Reserve last week left in place its monthly $85 billion bond-buying stimulus plan, saying economic growth had stalled but indicating the pullback was likely temporary.

Fisher reiterated his doubts about the effectiveness of the program.

"I am not worried about price inflation; what I've been worried about is the efficacy of our policy as it affects job creation," he said.

Of the Fed's purchases of mortgage-backed securities, he said, "I think it has helped. It comes at a cost. The question is how much do you do... Now it's a question of what encourages hiring. That's where the efficacy is questionable. We'll see."

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