Split among Fed officials

Julian Harris
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DEEP divisions have appeared among senior Federal Reserve officials, the minutes to the Fed’s August meeting exposed last night.

The minutes revealed “a few” members pushing for “a more substantial” loosening of policy -- widely assumed to be a third period of quantitative easing known as QE3.

Yet the hawkish side of the committee are digging their claws in. Richard Fisher -- one of the three dissenters who refused to endorse the Fed’s pledge to keep interest rates at exceptionally low levels “at leas through mid-2013” -- described America’s economic problems as “chiefly non-monetary”.

Nonetheless, contrary comments from Fed dove Charles Evans yesterday, in which he urged the Fed to signal more loosening, helped send gold prices upwards. The precious metal rose over two per cent during the day, to reach $1,838 per ounce.