Interest rates 101: Why the party is over

Posted by Shawn Tully - Fortune

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UnknownThe Fed wants to keep long-term yields depressed, but its policies are riddling the market with risk.

FORTUNE — Last Wednesday, at a conference in Cambridge, Mass., Ben Bernanke sought to clarify the statements that shocked the markets just three weeks earlier. This time, the Federal Reserve Chairman reassured his vast, anxious audience that his pledge to start shrinking the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly purchases of long-term bonds, the latest version of “quantitative easing,” or QE3, didn’t mean that the Fed was abandoning the easy money policies that have cheered the markets for four years. The Fed would support the economy with “highly accommodative monetary policy,” intoned the Chairman, “for the foreseeable future.”

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