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Bernanke puts off easing talk until Sept. FOMC

Bernanke puts off easing talk until Sept. FOMC (by Greg Robb)

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (MarketWatch) - Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday put off a lengthy discussion of the easing options available to the central bank until the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting late next month. In a highly anticipated speech, Bernanke announced that the Fed had decided to expand its September meeting to two days - Sept. 20 and 21 - to review the pros and cons of further easing. Many Fed watchers had expected at least a discussion of the options in today's speech. But Bernanke refrained, saying it was still difficult to judge how recent stock market weakness, debt-ceiling negotiations and the European debt crisis had impacted the economy. The Fed does expect "a moderate recovery" to continue and strengthen, he said. Bernanke criticized Congress, saying the recent debate over the debt ceiling had hurt the economy.