Federal Reserve Blog

Friday, October 8, 2010 9:58 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The monthly employment report for September was released this morning and the number that gets attention is minus 95,000. But that’s not the most significant number. Why? Because the government shed 159,000 positions, mostly temporary Census workers, distorting the figures. The most relevant number continues to be private sector job growth. The good news is

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5:23 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

The Federal Open Market Committee’s statement issued this afternoon clearly conveyed a willingness to throw more money into the financial system with another round of quantitative easing, perhaps as soon as November. That is what the market expected from the Fed, and the Fed delivered. But what is most significant — and somewhat alarming — is

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Friday, August 27, 2010 12:06 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Not wanting to be alarmist, Ben Bernanke chose his words very carefully in this morning’s speech from Jackson Hole, Wyo. He didn’t announce, or even discuss, any new policy options, other than to debunk the notion that the Fed would try to engineer inflation. Yes, they’ll buy more securities if conditions warrant, but we already

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2:07 pm
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Yesterday the Federal Reserve took a symbolic step in the direction of more accommodative financial conditions by announcing that they will reinvest proceeds from maturing bonds back into Treasury securities. This will keep money in the financial system and help keep a lid on long-term interest rates, such as mortgages. But this is a small

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Thursday, July 22, 2010 11:55 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

Here is a subject of relevance for retirement investors — given the decline in the stock market since May — recharacterizing your Roth IRA conversion. Recharacterization is the process of unwinding your previous conversion as if it never happened. Let’s say earlier this year you converted traditional IRA assets to a Roth, triggering a tax

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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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