When the time to raise interest rate comes, the Fed could act quickly and intensely, if needed, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher said yesterday.

He remains “ever vigilant” of the “long-term dangers of inflation posed by the expansion of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet,” Fisher told the Texas Christian University Business Network of Dallas, according to excerpts released by the Fed.

“I have not hesitated in the past to vote against the majority of the FOMC when I felt they were being too accommodative and I have been outspoken on the dangers of prolonged monetary stimulus in the future,” Fisher said.

“Many of the Fed’s special credit facilities have been winding down at a rapid clip as financial markets have begun to function in a more normal manner. And my colleagues have come to accept the arguments I made regarding the necessity for the Fed to maintain its independence from the Treasury by not increasing its purchases of long-term Treasury securities.

“As to the Federal Reserve reducing its balance sheet so as not to monetize the excess reserves waiting to be converted to bank loans, I have been very clear: Given the lag between the time monetary policy is initiated and when it impacts the economy, that wind-down process needs to begin as soon as there are convincing signs that economic growth is gaining traction and that the lending capacity of the banking system is capable of expansion.

“I have faith my colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee will stand and deliver in a timely way,” Fisher added. “And I expect that when it comes time to tighten monetary policy, my colleagues and I will move with an alacrity that, if needed, will be equal in speed and intensity to that with which we pursued monetary accommodation.”

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