In his first major public appearance since becoming the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's president and chief executive, William Dudley threw his support Friday behind a dramatic idea: letting the central bank issue its own debt.

On its face, the idea, which would require congressional approval, would give the Fed a chance to revive lending without simply dumping trillions of dollars into the economy. But Dudley suggested a separate benefit — keeping the Fed independent from the White House.

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