A senior U.S. Federal Reserve official warned on Monday that he would vote to scale back or stop the central bank's $600 billion bond-buying program if it proves to be demonstrably counterproductive.
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher, who has repeatedly said he would not support any more bond buying after the program ends in June, said he was doubtful the purchases were doing much good.
I remain doubtful enough as to its efficacy that if at any time between now and June, it should prove demonstrably counterproductive, I will vote to curtail or perhaps discontinue it, Fisher said in remarks prepared for delivery to an Institute of International Bankers' conference in Washington.
The liquidity tanks are full, if not brimming over. The Fed has done its job, he said.
The Fed launched its bond buying program in November to help an economic recovery that was struggling with high unemployment after the worst recession since the 1930s.
But since then, the economy has shown signs of strengthening with the jobless rate falling to a nearly two-year low of 8.9 percent in February.
Fed officials are due to meet March 15 to discuss the bond purchase program. In January, Fisher voted with the rest of the central bank's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee to continue it.
In comments to the bankers' conference, Fisher said he did not feel that further monetary accommodation would help put more Americans back to work.
It might well retard job creation, should it give rise to inflationary expectations, he said, adding that perhaps the Fed's policy has compromised the central bank by implying it is a pliant accomplice to Congress' and the executive branch's fiscal misfeasance.
(Reporting by Rachelle Younglai; Editing by James Dalgleish)