August 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Analysts are widely expecting the Federal Reserve to dial back its bond-buying stimulus program next month. So are bond investors and emerging markets. And it looks as if the Fed is too. Although such action is not a sure thing, the minutes of the Fed's July meeting suggest that policymakers are largely preparing to scale back their $85-billion monthly purchases at their next policy session in mid-September - unless the U.S. is hit with a major dose of bad economic news before then.
August 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve gave its strongest signal yet that it would undertake a new effort this fall to strengthen the hobbling economic recovery. Unless the economy improved significantly, "many members" of the Fed's policymaking committee felt that additional stimulus would be needed "fairly soon," according to an account of the group's last meeting, which ended Aug. 1. Policymakers didn't specify which actions might be taken. But the meeting minutes, which were released Wednesday after the usual three-week lag, suggested that their preferred option was large-scale bond purchases known in Fed-talk as QE3, short for a third round of quantitative easing.
October 25, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers held steady on their new stimulus program, noting some improvement in household spending and an uptick in inflation since the effort began last month. In a statement after its two-day meeting Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee left short-term interest rates unchanged and reiterated that it planned to keep them at their current level at least through mid-2015 because of the struggling economic recovery. Six weeks after the Fed fired what might be its last bullet to try to strengthen the recovery, analysts did not expect the central bank to make any major new announcements Wednesday.
July 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve policymakers are increasingly divided on the central bank's bond-buying stimulus, with more officials than previously thought wanting to pull back very soon. About half of the Fed's officials believe the program should be halted by the end of the year, according to an account of their last meeting in mid-June. At that meeting, a few participants even wanted to see the purchases slowed or stopped immediately. But the minutes, released Wednesday with the customary three-week lag, said that "many other participants anticipated that it likely would be appropriate to continue purchases into 2014.
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.
March 15, 2012 |
There's nothing like a slap in the face from the Federal Reserve to rattle a stock price. Just ask investors in Citigroup Inc. Citi shares dropped 3.4% Wednesday after its poor showing in the Fed's stress tests for big banks whose failures might blow up the financial system. For the most part, the Fed report amounted to a stamp of approval for the banking industry's recovery from a near-meltdown. Many of the giants — including JPMorgan Chase & Co., US Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. — were sound enough to return more of their profit to shareholders, the Fed said in its bank stress test report.
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.
October 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- As the Federal Reserve concludes its two-day policy meeting Wednesday, one thing the central bank won't be worrying about is an immediate flare-up of inflation. If anything, the concern might be that consumer prices are growing too slowly. The latest indication was the government's report Wednesday for September: It showed that the consumer price index, while rising 0.2% from August, was up just 1.2% in the 12 months through September. That's the smallest increase since April.
April 24, 2013 |
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that a newly designed $100 bill would begin circulating in October, more than two years after the initial target date. The $100 bill, a prime target for counterfeiters, will in its new version feature advanced security features such as a blue 3-D ribbon running through the middle and a disappearing image of the Liberty Bell. Benjamin Franklin's face will still be printed off-center on the front of the bill. The new note was originally slated to begin circulating in 2011, but problems including unwanted creases in bills delayed production until this year.
October 9, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Janet Yellen, President Obama's choice to head the Federal Reserve, comes to the post with more experience at the central bank than her predecessors and a career-long focus on the issue that remains at the center of public concern over the economy - jobs and labor markets. Yellen's emphasis on work and unemployment, on which she produced several major scholarly papers during her many years as a Berkeley professor, has also become the focus of Republican critics and some on Wall Street who fear she is soft on inflation.