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Fed's Fischer: No 'acute risks' to stability

Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Friday said that no "acute risks" threaten short-term financial stability.

But in prepared remarks, he made no direct reference to the U.S. central bank's current monetary policy plans or the state of the economy. Investors watched Fischer's comments for indicators of when the Fed may move off of near-zero interest rates after a disappointing U.S. jobs number earlier in the day.

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The U.S. economy created 142,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1 percent, according to the Labor Department. The number came in well below economists' expectations, which could affect the Fed's decision to possibly start raising interest rates soon.

Stanley Fischer
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Stanley Fischer

While Fischer did not directly address current policy, he noted that it can be used to combat financial turmoil.

"I also struggle in trying to find consistency between the certainty that many have that higher interest rates would have prevented the global financial crisis and the view that the interest rate should not be used to deal with potential financial instabilities," he said.

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Fischer noted that U.S. financial regulators lack some tools needed to address problems, while criticizing the number of regulators in the country. He expressed concerns that money has left regulated industries to so-called "shadow" banks.

Fischer's remarks followed comments from the St. Louis Fed's James Bullard earlier in the day. He said that arguments that the U.S. or global economy have changed are not adequate to keep the Fed from raising interest rates.

Bullard stressed that officials should focus on cumulative job market progress and not month-to-month developments.

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