Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is gambling that by March, he can stop the purchases of mortgage-backed securities that have propped up the housing market, but Congress may have other ideas.

The central bank said it must eventually withdraw its unprecedented economic stimulus to avoid a surge of inflation as a recovery takes hold. Plans to buy $1.25 trillion of housing debt are the centerpiece of its program to pull the nation out of the worst recession since the 1930s.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.