The Fed Can Afford to Be "Patient"

By Rich Miller

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan likes to describe his approach to monetary policy as a "risk management" strategy. The aim: to downplay the dangers of particularly bad outcomes for the economy, be they a surge in inflation or a collapse in demand. Under such a strategy, the Fed at times deliberately errs on the side of an easier or tighter policy to reduce the risks to the economy.

So what does that mean for the Dec. 9 meeting of the central bank's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)? It means don't expect much change in the policy statement that the co

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