The Federal Reserve's effort to assure the public that interest rates will remain near zero for years could have the perverse effect of hurting confidence and damaging economic growth, a top Fed official said on Thursday.
Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed, offered a conference in Stockholm a taste of his hawkish skepticism of the U.S. central bank's unconventional monetary policies.
Lacker has been critical of the Fed's asset purchases, particularly of mortgages, which he says constitute fiscal policy and open the central bank to greater political meddling.
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But on Thursday, Lacker also took aim at a tool top policymakers have touted as having increasing importance in the Fed's arsenal, and which is also being employed in Europe and Britain - rates guidance.