(LONDON GUARDIAN) -- Last month, at the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole conference, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told the audience:
"The stagnation of the labor market is a grave concern not only because of the enormous suffering and waste of human talent it entails, but also because persistently high levels of unemployment will wreak structural damage on our economy that could last for many years."
This week, Bernanke assumed the obligation of those words as the Fed announced Thursday that it will engage in another round of quantitative easing – the so-called QE3 – through open-ended purchases of $40bn of mortgage debt per month. Furthermore, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) declared its intent to hold the federal funds rate – the interest rate that the Fed directly controls – near zero "at least through mid-2015".
Advertisement - story continues below