WASHINGTON — Monetary policy has been "less constrained" by the zero lower bound for interest rates than is often thought, and the Federal Reserve's unconventional actions may have minimized the impact of the super-low federal funds rate on medium- and longer-term rates, new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco shows Monday.

Senior Research Advisor Eric Swanson writes in the bank's latest Economic Letter, that "monetary policy was less constrained by the zero lower bound between 2009 and 2012 than is often recognized."

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