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How do you convince people that doing less isn’t really doing less?

That’s the question Ben Bernanke has been trying to answer the past six months, and it looks like he’s finally found one. That’s reducing the Fed’s bond-buying, but offsetting that by saying it will keep rates low for even longer.

It’s less purchases and more promises. More specifically, the Fed will “taper” its bond purchases from $85 to $75 billion a month. And it will keep doing so in $10 billion increments next year as long as the recovery stays on track. But it will try to inject just as much monetary stimulus as it’s taking out by strengthening its promises. Indeed, the Fed now says it will likely keep rates at zero “well past” the time unemployment falls below 6.5 percent, especially if inflation stays below its 2 percent target as expected.

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