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Fed to buy as much government debt as needed to aid economy

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By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER

AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- In its boldest effort to protect the U.S. economy from the coronavirus, the Federal Reserve says it will buy as much government debt as it deems necessary and will also begin lending to small and large businesses and local governments to help them weather the crisis.

The Fed's announcement removes any dollar limits from its plans to support the flow of credit through an economy that has been ravaged by the viral outbreak.

The central bank's all-out effort has now gone beyond even the extraordinary drive it made to rescue the economy from the 2008 financial crisis.

"The coronavirus pandemic is causing tremendous hardship across the United States and around the world," the Fed said in a statement.

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