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CASH TO BURN: Occupy D.C. protesters call for an end to the Federal Reserve in front of the financial institution on Sunday as one protester burns a dollar bill. (Associated Press)

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Jean Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, whose position has less direct authority than that of the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, has had to build consensus among the member nations of the eurozone in the debt crisis. He steps down this month after eight years at the ECB's helm. (Associated Press)

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Protester Barry Freed with Occupy DC holds a sign that reads "End the FED" and wears a Guy Fox mask as he marches with hundreds of protesters in Washington, DC. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Protester Barry Freed with Occupy DC holds a sign that reads "End the FED" and wears a Guy Fox mask as he marches with hundreds of protesters, upset about a variety of issues from the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to corporate greed, along K Street in NW Washington, DC, October 6, 2011. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Protester Barry Freed with Occupy DC holds a sign that reads "End the FED" and wears a Guy Fox mask with hundreds of other protesters upset about a variety of issues from the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to corporate greed outside the Chamber of Commerce building in NW Washington, DC, October 6, 2011. (Andrew Harnik / The Washington Times)

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Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on the country's economic outlook at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/ The Washington Times)

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Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on the country's economic outlook at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 4, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

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Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on the country's economic outlook at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 4, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/ The Washington Times)

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke addresses the Economic Club of Minnesota on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Minneapolis. (Associated Press)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week that "The country would be well-served by a better process for making fiscal decisions."

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Federal Reserve chairman Paul Bernanke (right) and Jean-Claude Trichet, of France, president of the European Central Bank, take a stroll Aug. 26, 2011, on the veranda of the Jackson Lake Lodge before the morning session of the Economic Policy Symposium at Jackson Hole in Moran, Wyo. (Associated Press)

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A television screen at the post of specialist Stephen Ruiz (left) displays the decision of the Federal Reserve on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 9, 2011. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it will likely keep interest rates at record lows for the next two years after acknowledging that the economy is weaker than it had thought and faces increasing risks. (Associated Press)

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 14, 2011, before the Senate Banking Committee to deliver the semiannual Monetary Policy Report. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke prepares to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. In his semiannual report to the panel, Mr. Bernanke said the Fed would provide additional stimulus to the economy if the current lull persists. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Retailers may take to court the Federal Reserve's decision nearly doubling the amount banks can charge on "swipe fees." Starting in October, they can charge stores up to 21 cents per transaction every time a customer pays with a debit card. (Associated Press)

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Illustration: The Federal Reserve by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

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Illustration: Federal Reserve by Linas Garsys for The Washington Times

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Associated Press MIT economics professor Peter A. Diamond said critics had failed to recognize the value of his expertise on the causes of unemployment in blocking his bid for a seat on the Federal Reserve board.

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The mounting federal debt is "the most important problem, at least in the longer term, that the United States faces," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said at a news conference Wednesday. (Associated Press)