Federal Reserve Blog

Thursday, January 26, 2012 8:59 am
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee voted to keep the key federal funds rate near zero, where it has been since December 2008. The biggest news is that the current low rate will likely persist through late 2014 rather than the previous projection of mid-2013, according to the FOMC statement: The Committee decided today to

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012 12:30 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee today elected to leave rates unchanged and hold off on new quantitative easing, or QE, measures for now. The key federal funds rate, which determines the rate at which banks lend their balances at the Fed to one another, will remain near zero through late 2014. The federal funds

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Friday, January 13, 2012 1:08 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

This week a friend asked me why consumers should care about what the Federal Reserve does. It’s a fair question; there’s plenty of economic news a consumer can ignore and pretty much be fine. The beginning of a housing slowdown in China or the stock performance of Apple don’t really have that big of an

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012 3:50 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

The Fed’s tea leaves are set to become even less obfuscated in 2012. At the January meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed will launch a new strategy for communicating the path that interest rates might take, the minutes from the Dec. 13 meeting show. This is what the minutes say: The subcommittee

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011 4:44 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

President Barack Obama said Tuesday he’ll nominate Harvard economist Jeremy Stein and former private-equity executive Jerome Powell to the two vacant spots on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. If confirmed, Stein and Powell will be part of the Federal Open Market Committee that sets short-term interest rate targets and monetary policy for the Fed.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:30 pm
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com

Call it Fed fatigue. After three years of aggressive monetary easing and unprecedented action to prop up the financial system, the U.S. economy is beginning to show some scattered signs of improvement, and the Federal Reserve decided to take it easy, at least for this meeting. “Monetary policy has its limits, and the Fed may

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011 2:10 pm
By Claes Bell · 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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