Federal Reserve members engaged in heated debate in September before ultimately deciding not to ease back on their monthly bond-buying program, according to the minutes from the latest Fed meeting.
The sheer 12-page length of the document reflected a depth of discussion that focused on whether the economy was strong enough to wind down the buying, as well as whether the Fed was being as clear as it should be with its policy statements.
"All members but one judged that it would be appropriate for the Committee to await more evidence that progress would be sustained before adjusting the pace of asset purchases," the minutes said.
The decision to begin pulling back on the $85 billion a month in purchases of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities was "a relatively close call" for "several members" who were concerned that financial markets had come to expect an unwinding, or tapering.
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Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had been indicating since May that the central bank was ready to start the tapering process of quantitative easing.
Interest rates crested higher over the summer and equity markets were volatile.
Bernanke, though, had stressed that a decision was dependent on growth, and the economic signals were mixed at best.
"During the exchange of views on whether to trim the flow of asset purchases at this meeting, a number of members emphasized the contingent and data-dependent nature of the Committee's purchase program," the minutes state.