The Federal Reserve Board's army of economists are the ultimateumbrella people: They prepare for rain on sunny days.

Even though no Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)member has forecast a recession in the next three years, a shakyglobal environment has clouded the U.S. economic outlook. With thecentral bank's main policy rate stuck at zero since December 2008,that means Fed staff is probably already mulling other ways tostimulate growth.

Here are three tools at Fed policy makers' disposal—along withtheir benefits and drawbacks.

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