Bernanke May Try to Boost Confidence

Financial turmoil could elicit extended monetary stimulus from Fed.

Federal Reserve officials may move to bolster investor confidence after an unprecedented downgrade to America’s credit rating and concern the U.S. may be headed for a recession sent global share prices tumbling.

Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his colleagues may prolong a pledge to maintain record monetary stimulus, said economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co., BNP Paribas and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The Fed could do so by making a commitment to hold its $2.87 trillion balance sheet steady for an “extended period.” The Fed also may replace shorter-term securities with longer maturities to reduce rates on longer-term debt.

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