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Fed's Lockhart opposes QE3 at the moment

Fed's Lockhart opposes QE3 at the moment (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - More bond-buying from the Federal Reserve would not work under current circumstances, said Dennis Lockhart, the president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, on Tuesday. Lockhart, who will be a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee in 2012, said he was skeptical that more quantitative easing would help the economy. Lockhart said he thought the best policy going forward was keeping rates close to zero and holding the balance sheet steady. Lockhart's remarks are the first time a Fed official has explicitly disclosed his view of what would be "appropriate monetary policy" going forward. When Fed officials prepare their economic forecasts four times a year, they must embed an assumption of the future path of policy that would best meet their objectives of stable prices and maximum employment. In recent weeks, Fed officials have been discussing making these assumptions public, which is currently the practice of only a handful of other central banks, but no final decision has been reached. Lockhart forecast moderate growth in 2012 but expressed grave concern that events in Europe might throw the U.S. economy off course.