Ben S. Bernanke for the first time pledged that the FederalReserve will buy bonds until the economy gets closer to his goals,cementing his place as the Fed's most innovative chairman andsignaling the battle against unemployment eclipses any concernsabout inflation for now.

The central bank yesterday announced its third round oflarge-scale asset purchases since 2008, with the difference that itdidn't set any limit on the ultimate amount it would buy or theduration of the program. Instead, Bernanke said stimulus will beexpanded until the Fed sees “sustained improvement” in the labormarket.

Bernanke is “going to fight and fight until he sees a realimprovement in the economy,” said Ethan Harris, co-head of globaleconomics research at Bank of America Corp. in New York. “He's notgoing to let his critics stop him. He believes quantitative easingcan help the economy and the Fed can avoid inflation, so he'll justkeep at it until there's a real turn in the economy.”

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