Federal Reserve

Federal Reserve May Lay Off Stimulus, Eventually

Quantitative easing or bust!

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The Federal Reserve left its stimulus intact with no sign of any changes soon, but Chairman Ben Bernanke's Wednesday comments hinted at reduced monthly asset purchases down the road if the economy continues to build momentum.

Bernanke has said before that policymakers could alter bond buying, or quantitative easing, of $85 billion a month based on economic conditions. But Wednesday he emphasized that the Fed wouldn't lurch from full-speed ahead to a complete stop.

"We think it makes more sense to have our policy variable, which is the rate of flow of purchases, and respond in a more continuous or sensitive way to changes in the outlook," he said at a press conference.