Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Should the Fed keep quiet?

I encourage newsmakers to talk whenever they want to — or even when they would rather not. An informed public is a good thing, after all.

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke

But Paul La Monica, assistant managing editor for CNNMoney, makes an interesting case for tell Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to clam up.

Bernanke and the Fed deserve credit for helping “save the U.S. economy from a fate that could have been much worse in 2008.”

But the markets would be better off without the Fed’s new “transparency” policy, La Monica says.

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Why China won’t take over U.S. banking system

If the Fed’s decision to allow a Chinese bank to buy a U.S. bank has you worried about a communist takeover of our entire banking system — stop worrying.

China isn’t about to “play a meaningful role in the U.S. any time soon,” according to a Forbes report.

Five Reasons China’s Banks Are Not Taking Over The U.S. Banking System

Forn those who prefer a paranoid view, here’s Michael Savage on the Fed’s decision.

What will Ben say? Will it matter?

Market watchers have been speculating all week about what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben
federal reserve.jpgBernanke will say Friday when he talks about what’s needed to spur the economy.

 Is QE3 in the works? How will the market react? Will whatever he says help the economy?

Here’s a sampling of what some pundits and experts expect.

Bloomberg: Bernanke May Forgo Easing as Data Point Higher

Forbes: Bernanke’s Jackson Hole Hamlet Moment: To QE Or Not To QE?

BusinessWeek: Bernanke Signaling No QE Backed by Data From Prices to Freight

CNBC: Bernanke Speech to Set Market Course Friday and Beyond

The Economic Times: US crisis: Ben Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech could rattle the markets

Photo: Associated Press files

Fed’s Lockhart says don’t worry about inflation

featured-img-2.jpgShould be interesting when Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart hits town next week for a speech to the Knoxville Economics Forum.

The dreaded “I” word — inflation — is turning up in more headlines these days, but in remarks reported Monday, Lockhart said he sees no reason to be concerned about runaway inflation.

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Fed report: Regional economy improving, credit still tight

The Federal Reserve’s first Beige Book of 2011 paints a generally optimistic picture of the
PAULSON+MONEY.jpgnational economy.

The economic survey released on Wednesday shows positive trends developed in the final months of 2010 for manufacturing, hiring and consumer spending. The housing market remains troublesome.

That’s the national picture. But let’s take a look at the regional outlook. It’s a little less rosy, but not horrible.

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New credit card rules haven’t ended life as we know it

Despite the gloomy predictions of some, the new credit card regulations have not brought an end to civilization.

In fact, annual fees are less common and offers of super-low teaser rates have increased, according to an Associated Press report.

IPO+VISA.jpgMany experts believed banks would bring back annual fees to recapture revenue lost to the new regs and that teaser rates would disappear.

Of course, we’re only a few months into implementation of the new credit card rules. Banks could get greedy and the credit card atmosphere could take a turn for the worse.

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Economic roller coaster continues

The Commerce Department released its third estimate of first quarter GDP and once again it’s lower. Apparently, consumers didn’t spend as much in the quarter as previously thought and the GDP rose 2.7 percent, instead of 3 percent.

We all wish the economy was recovering faster, but at least it’s growing and continued growth looks likely.

On Thursday, government reports showed that businesses have been spending more on machinery, computers, metals and other goods in the second quarter. That is a strong indicator that businesses are positive about the coming months, will boost production and may finally start hiring later in the year.

Another good sign: The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to the lowest point on record — 4.69 percent. That hopefully will boost home sales, which dropped in May when the end of the federal tax break for homebuyers.

However, interest rates have been low for months and the housing market hasn’t really responded.

And this week brought the latest word from the big brains at the Federal Reserve. And that word was “fragile.”

The Fed expects the economy to keep growing, but the board’s mood was less upbeat than before. Its outlook is tempered by a sluggish domestic labor market and concern about Europe’s financial crisis.

Whew! What a week. I need a vacation.

Fed keeps rates low — but for how long?

As expected, the Federal Reserve decided to keep short-term interest rates at a record low on Wednesday, citing concern about how Europe’s debt crisis could affect the U.S. economy.

Eventually, the Fed will start pushing rates higher. The question is when.

Read the Fed’s full press release here.

Here’s a sampling of news coverage.

MarketWatch: European debt crisis negatively impacting outlook

New York Times: Fed Holds Rates Steady, Citing Overseas Threats

RTT News: Fed Reiterates Rates Will Stay Low For “Extended Period

Reuters: Fed softens economy view as it renews low-rate vow