WASHINGTON, July 17 -- Twice a year the most powerful man in banking testifies before Congress. Wednesday was "Day 1" of what is expected to be Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's last visit to Congress. As always, it was a packed house, and the members, markets and media hung on his every word. Many were relieved to hear from Bernanke that the Fed has no set schedule for scaling back its bond-buying program. Thursday he appears before the Senate to repeat his message about the state of the economy and the Fed's plans for monetary policy.
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