The Federal Reserve has not been able to control the federal-funds rate since Lehman Bros. collapsed in September 2008 and the central bank started pouring money into the financial market. Policymakers at the Fed, who begin a two-day meeting today, are considering supplementing or replacing the rate. "One option you might want to consider is that our policy rate is the interest rate on excess reserves, and we let the fed-funds rate trade with some spread to that," said Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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