Bernanke champions FOMC policy and Fed independence

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Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday defended the policy of the Fed's policy-making committee, the FOMC, hours after the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and FOMC member Dennis Lockhart had expressed concern at the growing size of the Fed's balance sheet.

Bernanke, in a public discussion held at the University of Michigan, said the Fed's accommodative monetary policy has succeeded in bringing longer-term rates down "pretty significantly", but acknowledged the impact of

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