Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has offered a series of proposals to ease market operations and bolster the mortgage lending industry. The proposals indicate that the Fed is still concerned about the state of the financial system and the overall economy, although an interest-rate increase may be in the near future as inflation concerns continue. Bernanke's proposals would extend the Fed's authority over the financial system and its role in lending to Wall Street banks. Additionally, the Fed is expected to release updated policies that aim to prohibit abusive mortgage-lending practices.

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