While it is generally acknowledged among FOMC members that QE3 is having a "meaningful effect" on the markets and supporting growth, there seemed to be a divergence of opinion on how long the Fed's asset buys would be needed, according to minutes of the panel's latest meeting.

The minutes said "a few" members already believe costs outweigh benefits and "would like to bring the program to a close relatively soon," while "a few others" said the risks may increase "fairly quickly with the size of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet" and expected to curb the asset buys "before long." However, "many participants, including some of those who were focused on the increasing risks, expressed the view that continued solid improvement in the outlook for the labor market could prompt the Committee to slow the pace of purchases beginning at some point over the next several meetings, while a few participants suggested that economic conditions would likely justify continuing the program at its current pace at least until late in the year."

Members agreed that they needed to continue monitoring the costs and benefits of the asset purchase program.

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