Fed's Lacker sees distinct improvement in outlook (by Greg Robb)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- There has been a distinct improvement in the economic outlook since the Federal Reserve launched its $600 billion bond buying program last November, said Jeffrey Lacker, the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve on Tuesday. Lacker didn't call for the Fed to end the purchase program early, but said the Fed should "quite seriously" evaluate the pace and size of the program. The Fed has committed to regular reviews of the purchase plan that is now set to conclude at the end of June. In a speech in Newark, Del., Lacker said he expects growth in 2011 to come close to a 4% annual rate. Lacker also called for the end of government guarantees for mortgage debt.