Federal Reserve Blog

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 4:01 pm
By Katherine Reynolds Lewis · Bankrate.com

In explaining the Federal Open Market Committee’s decision to keep interest rates at rock-bottom levels, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke told reporters Wednesday that the economy is growing more slowly than expected due to a combination of high energy and food prices, the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami and continued weakness in the housing and

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Monday, May 23, 2011 3:10 pm
By Martha C. White · Bankrate.com

Proponents and opponents of the Federal Reserve’s proposed interchange fee cap of 12 cents per debit card transaction are digging in their heels. The National Retail Federation is pushing for the limit to become law; financial institutions and their trade associations are lobbying for a higher cap or no cap at all. An interchange fee

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011 9:15 am
By Gregg Fields · Bankrate.com

Even if he weren’t 6-foot-7, Paul Volcker would be a towering figure. There is, of course, his tenure as Federal Reserve chairman from 1979-87, when some of his toughest anti-inflation policies produced demonstrations in the streets of Washington. But there is also his work in other fields, including helping track the assets of Holocaust victims,

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:59 pm
By Katherine Reynolds Lewis · Bankrate.com

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke made history by facing nearly five dozen reporters in an hour-long press conference, the first ever for the U.S. central bank. With his usual unruffled delivery, Bernanke answered a dozen and a half questions ranging from the effects of long-term unemployment, the value of the dollar and gas prices

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:52 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The first few sentences of the Fed’s post-meeting statement contain phrases like “firmer footing,” “improving gradually” and “continue to expand.” That’s about as upbeat as the Fed has been in years. But they also devoted plenty of ink to higher energy and commodity prices. While the Fed expects the effect on inflation to be temporary,

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011 3:24 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The Federal Open Market Committee was a little more upbeat than in December, but left the bond-purchase program known as QE2 intact. The FOMC statment was little changed, with the Fed noting a pickup in both household and business spending late in the year, the rise in commodity prices, and the fact that the drop

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 4:08 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

A couple of quotes jumped out during my weekend reading. The first comes from a front-page article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about banks making more loans to consumers and businesses. It closes with a couple that “took out a home equity line of credit this month to help finance the purchase of a 4,000

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Friday, January 7, 2011 9:30 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The headlines will all scream about the drop in the unemployment rate to 9.4 percent. But job growth was a middling 103,000, powered by private sector hiring of 113,000. Those numbers are not enough to pull the unemployment rate lower, and certainly not to the extent that it dropped. So if hiring isn’t bringing the

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Tags: economy, job
Monday, December 13, 2010 12:17 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The Federal Open Market Committee meets tomorrow, with an official statement expected approximately 2:15 p.m. Eastern. No action of any significance is expected. It was the last meeting that was the big splash known as QE2, with the Fed pledging $600 billion in government bond purchases by the end of next June to reduce interest

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Friday, December 3, 2010 9:18 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The November jobs report came in well short of expectations. November saw just 39,000 new jobs and 50,000 in the private sector, compared to expectations in the 130,000-175,000 neighborhood. The revisions that make September and October appear slightly better are no consolation. Yes, the November figures will be revised twice more, but it won’t be enough to

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