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Bernanke Signals Dissenters Won’t Stop Stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke signaled he may expand record monetary stimulus over the most opposition of his tenure to revive the faltering recovery and reduce unemployment stuck around 9 percent. The central bank said yesterday that officials “discussed the range of policy tools” to strengthen growth and are “prepared to employ these tools as appropriate” while pledging to keep the benchmark interest rate near zero until at least mid-2013. Three policy makers dissented from the decision for the first time since Bernanke, 57, became chairman in 2006. “Bernanke will push through QE3 if the economic conditions warrant it,” said Steve Lear, who helps manage $150 billion at J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The first two rounds of so-called quantitative easing totaled $2.3 trillion yet have left the Fed with a recovery that officials yesterday judged to be “considerably slower” than anticipated.

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