Fed's Stein: need to be more predictable on bond taper

FRANKFURT, Sept 26 Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:11am EDT

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FRANKFURT, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should make itself more predictable over scaling back its massive bond buying campaign, a top U.S. central banker said on Thursday, acknowledging that it had confused markets by not tapering at its meeting last week.

Fed Governor Jeremy Stein said he would have been comfortable starting to reduce asset purchases at the Sept. 17-18 meeting, and that the decision to keep buying at an $85 billion monthly pace had been, for him, a "close call".

"But whether we start in September or a bit later is not in itself the key issue - the difference in the overall amount of securities we buy will be modest," he told a monetary policy conference in Frankfurt.

"What is much more important is doing everything we can to ensure that this difficult transition is implemented in as transparent and predictable a manner as possible. On this front, I think it is safe to say that there may be room for improvement," he said in prepared remarks.

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