Bernanke steps up pressure for action on fiscal cliff

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Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has increased pressure on the US government to take urgent action to avert the so-called ‘fiscal cliff' – a combination of tax rises and spending cuts due to automatically kick in at the end of the year.

Bernanke said in a speech on November 20 that poor fiscal policy-making in the US is holding back economic recovery. Not only was action required to avert the fiscal cliff, which could send the economy "toppling back into recession", but also to raise the

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