Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, said he was concerned about the Obama administration's plans to rewrite the nation's financial regulations, saying it could leave the U.S. Central Bank with an ill-defined role as bank regulator and make it less effective at its main job of fighting inflation.
Plosser is one of 12 Federal Reserve regional bank presidents who have a voice in Fed decisions about interest rates and bank supervision.
"You don't want an institution that is so heavy into other things that it fails to do its appropriate role on the monetary policy piece," Plosser told The Wall Street Journal.
"I would feel more comfortable with this if I had a clearer statement of what it is we're expected to accomplish," he said.
President Barack Obama has proposed giving the Fed additional power to oversee large financial institutions as part of a regulatory overhaul.
Nevertheless, public opinion of the Fed is falling.
A Gallup poll, conducted in mid-July, found that only 30 percent rated the Fed as doing an "excellent/good" job, down sharply from the 53 percent who thought the Fed was doing an excellent-to-good job in a survey in 2003, the Associated Press reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention topped the list with 61 percent of poll respondents rating that agency excellent to good. NASA and the FBI tied for second place at 58 percent each.
The CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Food and Drug Administration all earned scores higher than the Fed's, the poll said.
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