ATLANTA -- Robert Forrestal, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, said that while he favors more use of the private sector in solving economic problems, the public sector can play "a very useful role."

Forrestal was speaking at a symposium on Public and Private Sector Cooperation for Development in Atlanta.

Forrestal pointed out that the Federal Reserve, which he described as "an amalgam of public- and private-sector elements," is one public institution that could play a useful role.

For example, he said, "Since its inception, the Fed has played a key role in the payment system of the United States, ensuring that checks could be cleared across the nation and later initiating important moves toward electronic payments."

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