The Federal Reserve kept interest rates near zero and restated its intention to cease buying mortgage-backed securities in March, while losing unanimity on how long to keep borrowing costs low.
At the same time, Ã¢â‚¬Å“the Committee will continue to evaluate its purchases of securities in light of the evolving economic outlook and conditions in financial markets,Ã¢â‚¬Â the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement today in Washington.
Policy makers are keeping interest rates Ã¢â‚¬Å“exceptionally lowÃ¢â‚¬Â for an Ã¢â‚¬Å“extended periodÃ¢â‚¬Â as they wind down the record amounts of credit they have provided since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008. Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig dissented, saying Ã¢â‚¬Å“financial conditions had changed sufficiently that the expectation of exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period was no longer warranted.Ã¢â‚¬Â
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