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Federal Reserve to continue Operation Twist

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Kai Ryssdal: We’ll go straight to the top story of the day. The meeting of the Federal Reserve that wrapped up this afternoon. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke had a press conference shortly thereafter.

Ben Bernanke: Good afternoon. As indicated in the statement released earlier this afternoon…

“Seinfeld” clip: Yada yada yada.

And Mr. Bernanke went on to say…

Bernanke: In addition, the committee decided to continue through the end of the year…

“Peanuts” clip: Wah wah wah wah wah.

OK, I kid, but you get the point. There wasn’t all that much new in the Fed’s statement today. They are going to continue what’s come to be called Operation Twist through the end of the year, buying long-term Treasury bills to drive those long-term interest rates down.

Other than that, the Fed chairman said he’s ready to do more. Just not quite yet. What’s he waiting for?

I’m glad you asked.

Bernanke: We’re looking primarily at the labor market in this respect — if we’re not seeing a sustained improvement in the labor market, that would require additional action.

Next jobs report? Two weeks from this Friday, the 6th of July.

If you wanna know more about what the Fed did and didn’t do today, our New York bureau chief Heidi Moore has just the thing for you. Here’s her explainer.

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