WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Wednesday said the Fed is not increasing the amount of monetary stimulus by converting $45 billion in "Operation Twist" purchases to outright purchases, contrary to what some Fed officials have said.

Bernanke, talking to reporters after the Fed's policymaking Federal Open Market Committee announced continuation of $85 billion per month in bond purchases and set thresholds for keeping the federal funds rate near zero, Bernanke emphasized that the Fed's asset purchase program is "flexible."

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