Fed Expected to Announce Further $10 Billion Taper Today
Turmoil in emerging markets and a month of disappointing job growth at home are unlikely to deter the Federal Reserve from cutting its bond-buying stimulus on Wednesday, as Ben Bernanke presides at his last policy meeting as head of the U.S. central bank. Signs of improvement in the U.S. economy suggest Fed officials will stay on track to cut monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities by $5 billion each, bringing the total of their monthly asset purchases to $65 billion. Bernanke took the Fed far into uncharted territory during his eight years as chair, building a $4 trillion balance sheet and keeping interest rates near zero for more than five years to spur the economy after its worst slump in decades. Vice Chair Janet Yellen will replace Bernanke as Fed chair on Feb. 1.