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Fed lifts veil on primary dealer survey

By Emily Flitter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York took another step in its campaign to become more transparent on Friday, announcing it will publish one of the regular queries it puts to market participants.

The New York Fed said it would begin publishing on its website the regular survey it distributes to a selection of bond dealers before every Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

The New York Fed sends the questionnaire to the 21 banks and securities firms authorized to deal directly with the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to help implement monetary policy. It is designed to garner feedback from market participants that the FOMC can use in its policy deliberations.

The surveys, kept secret until now, had been viewed by some in the financial markets as offering hints on the Fed's next monetary policy moves, a notion disavowed by the New York Fed and some primary dealers.

"People may read into the questions more than they should," said Ira Jersey, interest-rate strategist at Credit Suisse, a primary dealer.

A statement from the New York Fed described the move as "as part of its ongoing efforts to increase transparency."

The survey "does not in any way dictate the policy actions taken by the FOMC," the statement said.

The latest survey contains 14 questions about dealers' expectations for Fed policy and their responses to the Fed's recent moves and communication methods.

The questions include solicitations for dealers' views on the likelihood of more easing or tightening measures to be taken at the December 13 FOMC meeting, and their expectations for the fed funds rate in the coming quarters.

It also contains questions listing various monetary policy tools, including lowering the interest rate the Fed pays on excess reserves and expanding the Fed's balance sheet, and asks dealers to state their expectations for the Fed's use of the tools.

The practice of surveying primary dealers is not new. The New York Fed on Friday posted a total of eight surveys -- the current questionnaire as well as the questionnaires from the earlier 2011 FOMC meetings.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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