If Congress and President Barack Obama can't agree on extending some of the tax breaks set to expire at year's end, the U.S. economy will be harmed so greatly that there is nothing the Federal Reserve could do to compensate for it, Chairman Ben Bernanke said. "If no action were to be taken by the fiscal authorities, the size of the fiscal cliff is such that there's absolutely no chance that the Federal Reserve could or would have any ability to offset that effect on the economy," he said.

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