Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser have all questioned further monetary easing, and all three will be voters next year.You take a Republican GOP refusing to raise the debt ceiling, and then you add in Fed feet-dragging due to the likes of embarrassments like Plosser, and you don't get a pretty picture...
While three votes fall well short of a majority on the 12-vote Federal Open Market Committee, they could pose a big challenge to Bernanke's leadership. A Fed chairman has not faced three dissenting votes since November 1992.
"It matters because it's visible," Meltzer said. "We know that Fisher and Plosser and several others are unhappy with the policy, but it's a different thing when it comes out."
Fed policies supported by a strongly split vote could be seen as more tentative and to have less staying power than policies that get the full backing of the FOMC, he said.
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