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Oct. 15, 2021, 9:31 a.m. EDT

Fed’s Barkin leaning toward starting taper in mid-November

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By Greg Robb

Richmond Federal Reserve President Tom Barkin said Friday he was leaning toward supporting a decision to start slowing down the central bank’s bond purchases in November, but suggested he hasn’t made a final decision.

Minutes of the last Fed policy meeting showed that officials generally agreed it was time to start pulling back their stimulus and they discussed starting the so-called “tapering” either in mid-November or mid-December.

Fed officials will meet on Nov. 2-3 to make the final decision.

“We’re going to have a discussion on which of those dates, I’m sure,” Barkin said, during an interview on CNBC.

“My instinct would be – if you’re going to decide it, go ahead and move -but I’m certainly going to be open to the debate on both sides,” Barkin said. The Richmond Fed president is a voting member on the central bank’s interest-rate committee this year.

During the interview, Barkin said he has not violated any of the Fed’s ethics rules surrounding the investment activity of top Fed officials.

“I’ve been in full compliance with the spirit and letter of all these rules,” Barkin said.

Two regional Fed presidents have resigned in the wake of criticism of their trading activity in 2020 when the central bank was pulling out all the stops to stave off a financial crisis due to the pandemic. The trading activity of another top official, Fed Governor Richard Clarida, has also been sharply criticized.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y +2.30% has risen to 1.563% in trading on Friday after ending last week above 1.6%.

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