Melzer Denies Rift in the Fed

ST. LOUIS - The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis said that there is no rift on the Federal Open Market Committee and that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan can generally get the monetary policy he wants.

"There are no armed camps in the FOMC, and the process is working quite well," the St. Louis Fed's president, Tom Melzer, said after delivering a speech at the Mercantile Library in St. Louis.

Reports |Not on Target'

Votes on the open market committee, the principal monetary policy body, are cast by the Federal Reserve governors and five of the 12 presidents of regional Federal Reserve Banks.

Mr. Melzer, an alternate member without a vote on the committee, was responding to press reports of disputes between Fed governors advocating easier money policy and regional Fed presidents worried about reviving inflation.

"Discussion about a rift between the chairman and the presidents is not on target," Mr. Melzer said.

He said his impression after six years on the committee is that Mr. Greenspan is able to deliver the monetary policy he wants.

Fed Seen as Still Influential

The St. Louis bank president declined comment on whether he believes the current Fed monetary policy is correct.

He said the Fed has lost none of its influence over the economy, despite the declining role by banks in fulfilling the nation's credit needs.

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