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Chicago branch president defends US Fed's moves

WASHINGTON -- A Federal Reserve official who has advocated more aggressive moves on the part of the central bank to combat high unemployment says the U.S. cannot afford timid efforts to support the economy.

Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said Wednesday that he wholeheartedly supported the moves the Fed took earlier this month to buy US$40 billion in mortgage-backed securities every month in an effort to drive interest rates lower and stimulate economic growth.

His comments in a speech to a business group in Hammond, Indiana, were the latest in what has become a verbal battle among Fed officials over the course of interest rate policy. On Tuesday, Charles Plosser, president of the Fed's Philadelphia branch, expressed doubts that the Fed's latest stimulus efforts would work.

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