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Fed's Williams says 'personally' wasn't far from willing to taper in September

By Ann Saphir

BOISE, Idaho (Reuters) - The head of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank said on Thursday that the decision not to reduce the Federal Reserve's massive bond-buying program in September was a "close call" for him.

"I personally wasn't as far away from being willing to initiate a small taper" compared with some other top Fed officials, John Williams, the president of the San Francisco Fed, told reporters after a speech at Boise State University.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in June the Fed would probably reduce its $85-billion (53.2 billion pounds)-a-month in bond purchases later this year and end the purchases by mid-2014.

A decision on when to taper and end the program will hinge on the momentum in the economy, Williams said.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Leslie Adler)