December 19, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Now that the Federal Reserve has started to ease a key economic stimulus, the reins of managing monetary policy to finish the job soon will be turned over to Janet L. Yellen, the central bank's vice chair. She won't find it easy. Yellen, expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Saturday as the Fed's first female chief, will be leading a very different and potentially more fractious policymaking team at the central bank. A more divisive group could be particularly nettlesome as she tries to execute the complicated exit from the Fed's unprecedented actions to stimulate the economy after the Great Recession.
December 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve policymakers voted Wednesday to start reducing a key stimulus program, signaling greater confidence in the strength of the recovery in the wake of recent upbeat economic data. The Federal Open Market Committee decided to start tapering the central bank's $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, aimed at holding down long-term interest rates. The program began in September 2012. Fed officials said they would reduce the purchases by $10 billion a month, starting in January.
December 5, 2013 |
Chinese authorities on Thursday instructed the country's banks and other financial institutions not to accept bitcoin, an unregulated digital currency that has soared in value amid widespread speculation, state media reported. China's central bank and four other state agencies warned that the use of the currency is risky and that it opened up opportunities for money laundering. State media reported that the currency does not have legal status and should not be circulated. Beijing authorities, however, did not outright ban the currency.
December 4, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The nation's economic recovery, seemingly stuck in another pothole after the 16-day federal government shutdown, now looks to be back on track again - and accelerating into the new year. Recent data, especially this week, have been generally positive, indicating that businesses are expanding their hiring and spending. And though consumers still appear somewhat rattled by the fiscal bickering in Washington that led to October's shutdown, the outlook for the recovery has markedly improved since mid-October.
November 24, 2013 |
Back in the 1980s, when I lived in Nairobi, foreign residents had a simple way of obtaining Kenyan shillings. They'd write a check in, say, U.S. dollars on their U.S. bank accounts to the Indian man who owned the ice cream store down the block. He'd pay over shillings at the current black market rate. Then he'd mail the check to his brother in Toronto, who would deposit it in the merchant's name in a Canadian bank account. Presto! The expatriates got shillings to spend locally, and the shop owner spirited his profits out of the country for conversion to a hard currency, secure for his retirement.
November 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The nomination of Janet L. Yellen to be the next Federal Reserve chair gives critics of the central bank something they rarely have: leverage to force some changes. As the Senate Banking Committee prepares for a confirmation hearing Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) plans to delay a vote on Yellen's nomination by the full Senate unless Democratic leaders bring up his bill to require more expansive audits of the Fed. Although Paul is not on the Banking Committee, half of the Republicans on the panel co-sponsored his bill.