Fed to End Historic Bond-Buying Program

It also will keep interest rates low for a while
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 29, 2014 1:32 PM CDT
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen listens during a meeting of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on Oct. 22.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(Newser) – The Federal Reserve plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low and, as expected, will end a bond-purchase program put into place in 2008 to stimulate the economy. The Wall Street Journal calls the latter a "historic experiment that has stirred intense debate about its effects in markets even though the central bank said it accomplished its main goal of reducing unemployment." The Fed today reiterated its plan to maintain its benchmark short-term rate near zero "for a considerable time." Most economists predict that the Fed won't raise that rate before mid-2015. The Fed's benchmark rate affects the rates on many consumer and business loans.

The board's decision to end its third round of bond buying had been expected. It has gradually pared the purchases from $85 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds each month to $15 billion. And the Fed had said it would likely end the program after its October meeting if the economy continued to improve. In a statement ending a policy meeting, the Fed suggested that the job market, though still not back to normal, is strengthening. The markets seemed to take the news in stride. The Dow, for example, was down about 40 points when the news broke, and it had actually gained about 10 points about 30 minutes later.

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