Bernanke: Fed OKd new stimulus because unemployment is ‘grave concern’

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said “grave concern” about the nation’s high unemployment rate led the central bank to launch another round of stimulus, and that the aggressive open-ended program underscores a commitment to the economic recovery.

“We’ve seen not enough jobs growth to bring down the unemployment rate, and what we need to see is more progress,” Bernanke said. The Fed would continue with its stimulus “until we do,” he said.

“We’re just trying to get the economy moving in the right direction, so we don’t stagnate at high levels of unemployment,” Bernanke said Thursday at his quarterly news conference, which followed the Fed’s announcement of its new stimulus effort.

The Fed said Thursday it would buy $40 billion a month in mortgage-backed securities until the outlook for the labor market improves substantially.
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