WASHINGTON (AP) — Several Federal Reserve policymakers were concerned last month about the risks of the Fed’s efforts to boost the U.S. economy by keeping borrowing costs low for the foreseeable future.
Minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 29-30 policy meeting released Wednesday showed that some officials worried about the Fed’s monthly purchases of $85 billion in Treasurys and mortgage bonds. They expressed concern that the continued purchases could eventually escalate inflation, unsettle financial markets or cause the Fed to absorb losses once it begins selling its investment holdings.
In the end, the Fed voted last month to keep its bond program open-ended and at the same size. It said in a statement that the bond purchases would continue until the job market improved substantially.
The January minutes suggested that the discussion over the risks from the bond purchases was more extensive than at the Fed’s December meeting. Minutes of the December meeting had also pointed to divisions among Fed officials over how long the purchases should continue. The debate within the Fed has fed speculation that the bond purchases might be scaled back or ended altogether this year.