In the face of the potential damage that the fiscal cliff could do to the economy, the Fed may find itself at a loss, says Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
"All they can do is send the signal that they're going to keep the floodgates of easy monetary policy open," he says. "But at some point, Congress has to pick up the ball and run with it."
Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter at @titonka or via E-mail at email@example.com.