Yellen poised to place stamp on US Fed policy

Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen is poised Wednesday to place her stamp on US monetary policy, challenged to balance a recently sluggish economy against the drawdown of the Fed’s stimulus. Yellen, who took the reins of the US central bank on February 1 from Ben Bernanke, will face the media to explain the Fed’s policy course at the close of her first meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) as Fed chair. While she has promised continuity with Bernanke, whom she served for three years as vice chair, she takes control as the Fed tests whether the US economy is strong enough to stand on its own, without tens of billions of dollars’ worth of easy money being pumped into it each month. Under Bernanke’s lead the FOMC decided in December to begin cutting back the $85 billion bond-buying program, meant to hold long-term interest rates down to stimulate investment and hiring.

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