Fed backs away from open-ended QE3

Feb 20, 2013, 2:47 PM EST
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington in this file photo taken December 12, 2012
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files

The U.S. Federal Reserve could end its current round of asset buying earlier than expected and is backing away from it being an open-ended program. According to the minutes of its January meeting released on Wednesday, officials are concerned about the costs and risks of further purchases. With the Fed buying securities at a rate of $85 billion a month, its balance sheet now exceeds $3 trillion and could reach $4 trillion if its third round of quantitative easing (QE3) continues for the rest of the year.