Fed official criticizes announcement on bond buys

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By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Federal Reserve voting member says the Fed's decision to announce details about when it would trim its bond-buying program was "inappropriately timed."

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard says the Fed should have waited for more "tangible signs" that the economy was strengthening and inflation was closer to the Fed's 2 percent target.

Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday after a two-day policy meeting that the Fed would likely slow its $85 billion-a-month program later this year and end it next year if the economy continued to strengthen. The purchases have helped keep long-term interest rates at record lows.

At the meeting, Bernanke was authorized to make that announcement. Bullard objected to the decision, according to an explanation of his vote posted Friday on the regional bank's website.

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