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The Discoverer Deep Seas drill ship sits off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico in this 2006 photo. President Obama's plan expands eastward the area of the Gulf where drilling is already permitted. Alex Brandon/AP hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying on Capitol Hill this month about how the U.S. economy still needs the assistance of the Fed. At the end of March, however, the agency plans to stop purchasing mortgage-backed securities. hide caption

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