April 22, 2014 |
The Federal Reserve's low interest rate policies, designed to stimulate the economy, have cost savers about $758 billion since the end of the Great Recession, according to a study released Tuesday. Inflation and low returns on deposits have led bank customers to lose more than $100 billion in purchasing power in each of the last five years, said MoneyRates.com, which provides consumers with information about bank rates, investing and personal finance. The Fed's benchmark short-term rate has been near zero since late 2008 as central bank policymakers tried to battle the financial crisis and Great Recession.
April 9, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - An account of the Federal Reserve's last meeting suggests that policymakers aren't as eager to take away the punch bowl as the market thought. The minutes of the March 18-19 meeting state that Fed officials worried that their individual projections for when the central bank would start raising interest rates "could be misconstrued" as indicating a shift by the Fed committee to tighter monetary policy. The average projections released after the March meeting showed a slight move forward in the anticipated timing of a Fed rate increase, and Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen herself gave the impression in a news conference that day that a rate hike could be made by mid-2015, earlier than what the market had been expecting.
April 6, 2014 |
Over the last six years, roaring bears and raging bulls both have had their turns to be right about financial markets. But investing success in the next market phase could be far more about pinpointing individual opportunities than riding a wave. This is when it should pay for a money manager to have maximum flexibility: the option to go almost anywhere with investors' dollars in search of decent returns. That could include stocks, bonds, real estate or commodities, for example.
April 4, 2014 |
High prices, climbing interest rates and flat incomes are pushing home-buying out of reach for more Southern Californians, according to a new report Friday from Zillow. And that's starting to bring back behavior seen in the bubble days of the mid-2000s. Just 43% of homes on the market right now in the Los Angeles area are “affordable” by historic standards, Zillow reported, meaning the typical family could buy the house and spend 35% or less of their household income on mortgage payments. That 35% was the L.A.-area average from 1985 through 2000 -- before the housing bubble -- according to Zillow's calculations.
March 30, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Can you be charged interest on your mortgage even after you've fully paid it off? Can the meter keep running when you owe the bank nothing - your principal balance is zero? Surprise! Much to the chagrin of large numbers of home sellers and refinancers, the answer for years has been yes. If your loan was insured by the Federal Housing Administration and you paid it off before maturity, at closing you'd be expected to cough up a full month's interest, no matter what day of the month you actually settled.
March 25, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Top Federal Reserve officials said financial markets overreacted to Chairwoman Janet Yellen's comments last week indicating the central bank could start raising interest rates early next year. In speeches and interviews, the officials stressed that Fed policy on its near zero short-term interest rates hadn't changed and that rates would remain low for a long period of time. "I don't think the Fed changed its position," Charles Plosser, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, told CNBC-TV Tuesday.