WASHINGTON (

TheStreet

) -- The

Federal Reserve

is close to embarking on another round of monetary stimulus next week, the

Wall Street Journal

reports.

The Fed is likely to unveil a program of U.S. Treasury bond purchases worth a few hundred billion dollars over several months, in contrast to purchases of almost $2 trillion it unveiled during the financial crisis, according to the newspaper.

The Fed is expected to make the announcement when the two-day meeting of its policy-making committee ends next Wednesday.

Reuters

reports that market expectations have centered around an initial commitment to buy at least $500 billion in Treasury debt over five months in an effort to spur lending and more investment.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to unveil the measures despite skepticism among some of his colleagues, including Thomas Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, who said earlier this week that more monetary easing was a "bargain with the devil," the

Journal

reports.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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