Federal Reserve Blog

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:10 pm
By Claes Bell, CFA · Bankrate.com

Today the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, came together for a quiet meeting, leaving the key federal funds rate unchanged at near-zero percent, as expected through mid-2013. The federal funds rate is the rate at which banks lend to each other. The FOMC’s statement reflected cautious optimism about the U.S. economy in the wake

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Monday, October 3, 2011 12:50 pm
By Patrick Van Horn · Bankrate.com

Last week Ben Bernanke, the Chairman of Federal Reserve, announced what has been referred to as Operation Twist. In short, the Fed will roll over the short-term bond purchases they made as they mature and purchase long-term bonds in order to push interest rates down on mortgages and long term debt. But arguably just as

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Friday, August 26, 2011 12:23 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

In a highly anticipated speech today in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke outlined the prospects for the economy in coming months and offered some perspective on long-term growth. Most saliently there was no mention of more quantitative easing from the central bank. After last year’s Jackson Hole speech in which the plans

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Thursday, August 25, 2011 1:07 pm
By Tarron Khemraj · Bankrate.com

During QE1 and QE2 — the first and second rounds of quantitative easing — the Federal Reserve made large-scale purchases of various securities ranging from housing agency debt (of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Sallie Mae) and mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, to longer-term government bonds. The purchase of these assets was meant to create liquidity

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 3:07 pm
By Gregg Fields · Bankrate.com

“We don’t know where the economy is going”

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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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