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Fed's low rate vow not too high a price to pay for taper: Fisher

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher (R) testifies alongside FDIC Vice Chair Thomas Hoenig before the House Financial Ser
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher (R) testifies alongside FDIC Vice Chair Thomas Hoenig before the House Financial Ser

By Ann Saphir

DALLAS (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's promise last month to keep rates near zero until after unemployment falls to 6.5 percent was part of the horse-trading on policy that also resulted in a decision to begin paring the Fed's bond-buying program, a top Fed official suggested on Tuesday.

"I didn't find the 6.5 percent, or well past 6.5 percent, to be too high a price to pay for that cutback of $10 billion," Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher told reporters after a speech here.

The Fed in December decided to cut its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion. It also said it would keep rates low until well past the time unemployment falls to 6.5 percent. It registered 6.7 percent in December.

"I'm not uncomfortable with statement that was issued, but I think we need to discuss this further," Fisher said.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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