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Greenspan Raises Interest Rate at Final Meeting as Fed Chairman

The man who guided the world's largest economy for the past 18 years took one last shot at inflation Tuesday by raising interest rates again.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is retiring as Chairman of the U.S. central bank, where he headed the committee that set the key U.S. interest rate. The committee boosted that rate a quarter of a point, to 4.5 percent, but changed its wording to say it "may" continue to raise rates. The committee's previous statement said further rate hikes were "likely."

Tuesday's rate hike came on the same day that former White House economic advisor Ben Bernanke was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Greenspan's successor.

Economists and politicians say 79-year-old Greenspan was the world's most influential economic figure.

He was first appointed to head the U.S. central bank in 1987 and built a reputation for fighting inflation and helping the U.S. economy cope with stock market declines, terror attacks, and recessions.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP, Bloomberg and Reuters.