Economists expect the Fed to turn off the money taps on schedule.
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Unless it springs a major surprise, the U.S. Federal Reserve will call time this week on its program of government bond purchases, which at one point was pumping $85 billion a month into financial markets and the economy.James Bullard, who heads the St. Louis Fed, has suggested that sticking with bond purchases for a few more months would give policymakers time to assess a deteriorating inflation outlook.That helped markets to calm from a violent sell-off 10 days ago but economists expect the Fed to turn off its money taps on schedule Wednesday, while giving accompanying assurances that it would respond if a global downturn threatens its economy.It may well be that the Fed keeps U.S. interest rates virtually at zero for longer given tumbling energy prices and an absence of wage growth.Results of stress tests on European banks, announced Sunday, showed 25 banks had failed as of the end of 2013 but most have since repaired their finances.
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