WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve officials proved their penchant for mumbo jumbo once again last week when they put the word out to the public and to financial markets about their decision to raise short-term interest rates.

Instead of explaining in plain English that they were raising the federal funds rate to 4.25% from 3.75%, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and his colleagues issued a press release that only market professionals in the banks and brokerage houses could readily understand.

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