Federal Reserve, Central Banks to Extend Credit Lines

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Top central banks are extending their arrangements to swap dollars and other currencies to make sure banks have the money they need.

The decision announced Thursday extends a crisis measure that was to expire Feb. 1, 2013. Now it will be extended for another year.

Taking part are the U.S. Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank of Canada. The Bank of Japan is to consider the measure at its next meeting.

The idea behind making each other's currencies available is so banks can get whatever currency they need to meet their obligations. The measure helps stabilize a financial system dealing with the fallout of five years of turmoil, a debt crisis in Europe, and slowing growth in emerging markets.