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Curbing asset purchases could reduce risks: Fed's Pianalto

The U.S. Federal Reserve Building is shown in Washington, March 18, 2008. The Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters
The U.S. Federal Reserve Building is shown in Washington, March 18, 2008. The Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve official known for her centrist views said on Monday the central bank could curb potential risks of its quantitative easing program by simply slowing the pace of asset purchases.

Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto said the central bank's balance sheet could swell to $4 trillion by year end, arguing that a smaller stable of assets "than many market participants currently envision" could mitigate potential risks.

"Given our limited experience with our asset purchase programs, slowing the pace of purchases could help minimize the potential risks associated with our large and growing balance sheet," she said in prepared remarks to an economic forum.

"Even continuing asset purchases at a reduced pace, and limiting the size of the overall program, would enable the Federal Reserve to continue adding accommodation and providing meaningful support to economic growth and job creation."

(Reporting by Michael Connor; Writing by Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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