November 15, 2012 / 10:21 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Breaking ranks, Fed's hawkish Fisher says QE3 is working

By Ann Saphir

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov 15 (Reuters) - One of the Federal Reserve’s staunchest opponents of the U.S. central bank’s latest round of quantitative easing acknowledged on Thursday that the Fed’s efforts are pushing mortgage rates downward.

“I am happy to see it working, because it wasn’t working right away,” Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher told reporters after a speech at Stanford University.

Fisher opposed the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, when it was launched in September, saying, “I don’t think this program will have much efficacy.”

Still, Fisher - like other policy hawks at the Fed -continued to push back against broad expectations the central bank will augment its current $40 billion in monthly mortgage-backed securities purchases in the New Year.

“If it is beginning to work, you would ask yourself, ‘Why would we need to do more?'” he said. With another month of data before their next policy-setting meeting, it is too early to say, he suggested.

“How long we should do it? I don’t know. I do not have the answers,” he said.

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