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Caroline Baum

Unconventional Policy, Conventional Fed

The reason Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke started talking about ending quantitative easing might be because he is uncomfortable with using unconventional monetary-policy tools.

Ben Bernanke, rather than ride out his last six months as Federal Reserve chairman in relative peace and contentment, has chosen to initiate a debate on tapering the Fed's asset purchases, sending long-term interest rates soaring.

Why? Economist and blogger Tim Duy says the whole debate seems premature, given the levels of unemployment and inflation. "So how did the Fed get here?" he asks.