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Fed: Rates to stay low until jobless below 6.5%

(Wall Street Journal) The Federal Reserve refashioned its bond-buying programs on Wednesday, extending its far-reaching effort to revitalize the jobs market and boost the economic recovery into 2013.

In addition, the Fed shifted its communications strategy by specifying the levels of unemployment and inflation that might prompt it to begin raising short-term interest rates, which are now near zero.

The central bank’s policy committee, in its final meeting of the year, said Wednesday it would “initially” begin buying $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month. The latest stimulus from the Fed will replace an expiring program known as “Operation Twist,” in which the Fed has been buying about $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month and selling about the same amount of short-term Treasurys.