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Murky Path for the Fed as Yellen Takes Reins

New York Times (03/19/14) Binyamin Appelbaum

U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen has taken over as the leader of the central bank at a time when the Fed is balancing a number of priorities. The immediate challenge confronting Yellen is to overhaul the Fed’s forward guidance for short-term interest rates and at the same time unwind its bond-buying program. Many observers expect the central bank to announce today that it will purchase $55 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities in April, down from $65 billion in March and $85 billion each month last year. Fed officials say they intend to end purchases in the fall unless the economic outlook drastically changes. However, officials have offered less clarity on interest rates, which were used to suppress company borrowing costs.