Fed's Bullard: housing crash shows need to learn from mistakes

WASHINGTON Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:41am EDT

President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis James Bullard poses during an interview at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis June 8, 2011. REUTERS/Peter Newcomb

President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis James Bullard poses during an interview at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis June 8, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Peter Newcomb

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Authorities must learn the lessons of past public policy mistakes as they strive to build more resilient communities in the future, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Thursday.

In welcoming remarks at the start of a two-day Fed-sponsored community development research conference, in which he made no reference to monetary policy, Bullard said public policy contributed to the U.S. housing crisis and resulting recession.

"Research can play a major role not only in the design of wise policies, but also in avoiding the continuation of unwise policies," Bullard said in prepared remarks.

He specifically cited the harm done by government-sponsored housing giants Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB), which had to be rescued with taxpayer money in 2008 and remain under government control.

(Reporting By Alister Bull; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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