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Inside Washington (02/10/2010)
* WASHINGTON (2/11/10)—Although the House Financial Services Committee hearing scheduled for Feb. 10 was postponed because of a blizzard that engulfed the Washington, D.C. region, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke still released his prepared testimony that, in part, previewed what would be the first interest-rate adjustment in more than a year. He also detailed several other steps that might be used to tighten credit.(Bloomberg.com, Feb. 10) Bernanke’s written statement said the Fed may raise the discount rate “before long” as part of the “normalization” of Fed lending. The Fed leader also reiterated a message sent at a recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting--that low rates are warranted “for an extended period.” Bernanke, who just this month started his second four-year term as Fed chairman, said he and fellow policymakers are preparing—at some point--to remove unprecedented monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy is forecast to grow at the fastest pace since 2006...


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