Concerns arise on expansion of Fed's role

07/17/2008 | Washington Post, The

The role of the Federal Reserve has grown during the ongoing financial and economic crisis, transforming the central bank into a type of backstop for the financial system. Some who study the Fed, however, say its focus on managing monetary policy in the U.S. is being threatened by its expanded role. "The Federal Reserve has re-created itself," said Vincent Reinhart, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "And if you do more things, you set yourself up to have to choose among them and trade off. What happens when concern for housing finance conflicts with the need to pursue price stability?"

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