WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Most top policy makers of the U. S. Federal Reserve said they would wait for more evidence of a recovering U.S. job market and economy before starting to scale back its massive asset buying program, according to the minutes of a meeting of the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released on Wednesday.
"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," noted the minutes of the latest policy meeting held on Sept. 17-18 by the FOMC, the Fed's powerful interest rate setting panel.
Since the onset of the financial crisis, the Fed has kept its short-term interest rate at the historically low level and completed two rounds of quantitative easing programs, known as QE1 and QE2. It is now purchasing longer-term government debt and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) at a pace of 85 billion U.S. dollars per month, dubbed as the QE3.
At the conclusion of the last policy meeting, the Fed decided to continue purchasing additional MBS at a pace of 40 billion dollars per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of 45 billion dollars per month to bolster U.S. economic recovery.
However, some Fed officials were worried that inaction may weaken the central bank's effectiveness in communicating with the market. U.S. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's hint in May that the central bank may start tapering QE3 later this year on the back of a recovering economy has rattled global financial markets in recent months.
"With financial markets appearing to expect a reduction in purchases at this meeting, concerns were raised about the effectiveness of FOMC communications if the Committee did not take that step. For several members, the various considerations made the decision to maintain an unchanged pace of asset purchases at this meeting a relatively close call," noted the minutes.