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Even a free market cheerleader like the late Milton Friedman acknowledged that the government should take a role in setting monetary conditions. A new working paper published by the U.S. Federal Reserve, however, finds in its preliminary research that not all interventions are created equal. The report observes that, while some instances of regulatory credit tightening have reduced consumer debt growth, loosening of credit conditions appears to be much less effective as a policy tool. Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will be pleased to hear that; Fed chairman Ben Bernanke, not so much.