Fed begins balance-sheet wind down

The Federal Reserve on Thursday opted to extend most of its swap lines and a number of its new facilities until February 2010, but reduced the amount of funds on offer through certain operations.

"Conditions in financial markets have improved in recent months, but market functioning in many areas remains impaired and seems likely to be strained for some time," the Fed said. "At the same time, in light of the improvement in financial conditions and reduced usage of some facilities, the Federal Re

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