Fed's Powell downplays prospect of losses on bond buys

NEW YORK Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:29am EST

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NEW YORK Feb 22 (Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve official downplayed the prospect that the U.S. central bank will deliver losses to the U.S. government in the years ahead, arguing on Friday that there are broader benefits from the Fed's massive asset-buying programs.

Fed Governor Jerome Powell acknowledged that the Fed could come under public and political criticism if there is an extended period of zero so-called remittances to the U.S. Treasury. But he said that, more importantly, the Fed has no intention to permit inflation in the face of such criticism.

"Any temporary losses should be weighed against the expected social benefits of the increased economic growth" by the asset buying, Powell said at a conference hosted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

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