Federal Reserve Blog

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11:29 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Existing home sales for May not only came in well below expectations, but below April levels. The significance here is that existing home sales are measured at closing, so a nice bump in sales was expected given the tax credit crowd that had signed contracts in March and April moving to the closing table in

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Friday, June 4, 2010 10:12 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The monthly employment report was issued at 8:30 a.m. and it was almost as disappointing as seeing a blown call cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on Wednesday night. There were 431,000 jobs added (well shy of the unrealistically high expectations of 500,000), but 411,000 were temporary census jobs. The real measure of

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Thursday, June 3, 2010 2:54 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The May jobs report is out tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. While temporary census workers will bloat the results, the expectations of 500,000 new jobs seems to me to be unrealistically high. Even decent growth could undershoot that by a wide margin. The significant number won’t be in the headline however, but the true measure

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Monday, May 24, 2010 9:23 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Conventional wisdom says that consumers have been aggressive about paying down their credit card debts, and as evidence, the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Credit release known as the G19 release is often cited. Specifically, the category known as revolving debt which is comprised largely of credit cards, declined by $92 billion in calendar year 2009. But

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Thursday, May 20, 2010 4:56 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

You have strong credit and are determined to get out of debt sooner, but your credit card issuer surprised you with a rate increase several months ago that threatens to slow your progress. In that case, you’re a great candidate for a balance transfer. The first step is to do some comparison shopping on the

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Monday, May 17, 2010 3:13 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

I tweeted about this over the weekend, but the Saturday Wall Street Journal contained an interview with Thomas Hoenig, the President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank. Perhaps you know him as the one voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee that has dissented in each of this year’s three FOMC meetings. Hoenig

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Friday, May 14, 2010 1:57 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Making only the minimum payment on a credit card is a treadmill to nowhere. Nothing illustrates this better than Bankrate.com’s calculator “The True Cost of Paying the Minimum.” We’ve produced a video demonstrating this calculator and also providing a solution to accelerate debt repayment on even the tightest budget. The reason minimum payments take a

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010 3:56 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Was the big issue last week a momentary trading glitch or the prospect of renewed financial tensions due to government default? Congress has it wrong.

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Friday, May 7, 2010 9:45 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The jobs report showed an increase in the unemployment rate to 9.9 percent, but the real headline is that we saw respectable job growth in April, 290,000 new jobs, on top of an upwardly revised 230,000 new jobs in March. While we really need to see 400,000 or 500,000 new jobs on a consistent basis to begin making a dent in the 15.3 million unemployed, there is no denying that things are headed in the right direction.

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Tags: FOMC
Thursday, May 6, 2010 1:19 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Yes, the employment report is still the top gauge of where we stand economically and it will retain its critical importance in that regard.

However, it will carry significance for an additional reason. The monthly employment report could be a catalyst for the next move in long-term interest rates.

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