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The Federal Reserve expressed confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy Wednesday. At the end of a two-day policy meeting, the central bank said "economic activity has picked up following its severe downturn," an upgrade from its last statement in August, when it said economic activity was "leveling out."

The Fed is feeling confident enough to announce the winding down of its largest interventions in the economy: It said Wednesday that its $1.45 trillion effort to support the mortgage market will be phased out to conclude in March 2010. (See "Ending The $1.45 Trillion Shopping Spree.") Its $300 billion program to purchase government debt will end, as previously announced, next month. As widely expected, the Fed said it would keep interest rates at their floor, 0% to 0.25%.

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Daniel Indiviglio was an associate editor at The Atlantic from 2009 through 2011. He is now the Washington, D.C.-based columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He is also a 2011 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow through the Phillips Foundation. More

Indiviglio has also written for Forbes. Prior to becoming a journalist, he spent several years working as an investment banker and a consultant.
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