Policymakers at the Federal Reserve were sharply split last month over whether to trim the U.S. central bank's massive bond-buying stimulus, although they ultimately chose not to, a top Fed official said on Friday.
The decision, by 17 top Fed officials after two days of discussion led by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, was a "close call," Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher told a group of business leaders at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark.
"There are straw votes taken along the way," he said, describing the Fed's regular policy-setting meetings. "At this last session, it was a close call."
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Fisher's remarks are unusual because Fed policymakers typically avoid characterizing the overall tone of discussion at the policy-making table, sticking more to their personal views.