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It is a subtle change in tone but nonetheless significant. The Federal Reserve, while continuing to hint at future quantitative easing (QE), seems at last to feel a need to address the longer-term inflationary risks of such policies. Accordingly, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke unveiled a new approach to quantitative easing, what he calls “sterilized QE.” He claims it would both support markets (and the economy) and at the same time guard against any longer-term inflationary consequences. Though there is good reason for skepticism about the technique he has outlined, this recent change in tone does offer encouragement. 

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