Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Virginia, said the Fed's emergency support of credit markets could hurt the central bank's independence by exposing it to political pressure. "Using the Fed's balance sheet is at times the path of least resistance, because it allows government lending to circumvent the congressional approval process," Lacker said. "This risks entangling the Fed in attempts to influence credit allocation, thereby exposing monetary policy to political pressure."

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