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Fed’s Dudley Sees Need to Remove ‘Impediments’ to Stimulus

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William C. Dudley said clearing away obstacles to stimulus would help make the central bank’s record easing more effective.

“To make monetary policy more effective it would be very helpful” to remove “impediments” to the transmission of monetary stimulus, Dudley said in response to audience questions after a speech to the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.

For example, the Fed’s policies have helped reduce mortgage rates, yet it’s difficult for some borrowers to refinance their debt, he said.

The Fed decided last month to reinvest proceeds from maturing housing debt into mortgage-backed securities and replace $400 billion of short-term Treasuries in the Fed’s portfolio with longer-term bonds. The decision prompted dissents from three regional Fed presidents: Richard Fisher of Dallas, Charles Plosser of Philadelphia and Narayana Kocherlakota of Minneapolis.

“I don’t think the Fed has run out of bullets,” though there are “costs” associated with its options, Dudley said. The Fed could extend its commitment to keep interest rates low or could embark on another round of so-called quantitative easing, he said.

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