The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to begin its long retreat from ultra-easy monetary policy on Wednesday by announcing a small reduction in its bond buying, while stressing that interest rates will remain near zero for a long time to come.
Most economists expect the Fed to scale back its monthly purchases by a modest $10 billion, taking them to $75 billion and signaling the beginning of the end to an unprecedented episode of monetary expansion that has been felt worldwide.
The baby step would begin to provide a bookend of sorts to the central bank’s response to the global financial crisis that reached fever pitch five years ago this week with the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.
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