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BUSINESS
May 12, 1989 | From United Press International
Taiwan's commercial banks recently engaged in a game of chicken with the Central Bank of China and lost. Now they are paying the consequences in the form of higher interest rates and tightened loan practices. But the transition to doing business under a central bank determined to rein in credit and ease inflationary pressure will not be easy for either Taiwan's banks or the customers they serve. The three provincial government-run banks, which claim a 30% market share among commercial banks, finally buckled under central bank pressure in late April and raised interest rates on deposits and loans for the first time since the central bank raised reserve requirements April 1 as part of its anti-inflation campaign.
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BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Tim Logan
Fewer home sales and rising interest rates have led to the nation's lowest level of mortgage lending in 14 years. Just $235 billion in home loans were started in the first three months of the year, the lowest figure recorded in a quarter since 2000, according to data from trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. That's down nearly a quarter from the end of 2013 and more than half from the same period last year, when the housing market was heating up, especially in Southern California.
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OPINION
December 16, 2012
Re "Fed to tie interest rate to job gains," Dec. 13 It's disappointing that no mention is made of the effect of the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates at rock bottom on those who have set aside a good portion of their incomes as savings over the years. People who have been fiscally prudent all their lives to build savings for their later years now see the income they had counted on from those savings diminished by these low rates. Although the Fed's actions may help encourage the investment needed for the job growth we so badly require, it would be nice to see the downside for a large segment of the population at least acknowledged.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
The mortgage industry's output of new loans is at the lowest point in 14 years, according to estimates from a trade publication.  Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday that even in the depths of the financial crisis, mortgage lenders were busier than during the first quarter of 2014. One factor is the end of a refinance boom as interest rates have risen well off their record lows. But though the rates are still great by historical measures, mortgages written for home purchases have been weak as well, as sales of new and previously owned homes have slowed.
NEWS
April 26, 2012 | By Jon Healey
President Obama and congressional Democrats have leaped on the student loan issue as a partisan talking point, yet it's looking like the GOP has outflanked them. At issue is whether new recipients of a particular kind of financial aid for college, called subsidized Stafford loans, will pay twice the rate of interest on loans issued after July 1 as the ones issued now. Congress had passed a law in 2007 gradually reducing the rate from 6.8% to 3.4%, but the law expires in a little more than two months.
NEWS
April 21, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
President Obama used his weekly video address to launch what will be a weeklong push on the issue of college affordability, pressing lawmakers to act to prevent a sharp increase in interest rates for student loans. The president noted that at a time of economic distress, a college degree has never been more important. But "it's also never been more expensive. " "In America, higher education cannot be a luxury. It's an economic imperative that every family must be able to afford," Obama said.
BUSINESS
February 24, 2010 | Bloomberg News
Most Federal Reserve bank directors voted for keeping the discount rate unchanged in mid-January, just weeks before the central bank raised the rate it charges for direct loans, according to minutes released in Washington. Directors at the St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo., Fed banks voted to increase the discount rate by a quarter of a point, to 0.75%, on Jan. 14, while directors at the 10 remaining regional Fed banks voted to maintain the rate at 0.5% during the month, minutes of the Fed board's decisions showed Tuesday.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2010 | Tom Petruno, Market Beat
How much of an economic recovery can we stand? With the Federal Reserve now looking serious about taking away some of the unprecedented support it has provided to the banking system and the economy, policymakers are posing a whole new set of challenges for financial markets. Stocks, bonds, real estate and commodities all have fed off cheap credit for the last year, which is why even the hint of higher short-term interest rates could be unsettling for them. But not so far: On Friday, U.S. markets were generally calm after the Fed late Thursday announced that it would raise the "discount rate" that banks pay for loans from the Fed to 0.75% from 0.50%.
BUSINESS
October 24, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday held steady on their new stimulus program, launching no new initiatives while saying there has been some improvement in household spending and an uptick in inflation since the effort began last month. In a statement after its two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee left short-tern interest rates unchanged and reiterated that it planned to keep them at their current level at least through mid-2015 because of the struggling economy.
OPINION
April 13, 1997
Dear Alan Greenspan: If it works don't fix it. Please don't fix it! CHARLES SUPPLE Long Beach
BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.
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.
BUSINESS
April 9, 2014 | By Don Lee
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.
BUSINESS
April 6, 2014 | By Tom Petruno
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.
BUSINESS
April 4, 2014 | By Tim Logan
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.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Kenneth R. Harney
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.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
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.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2011 | By David Pierson, Los Angeles Times
China's central bank said Tuesday it would raise interest rates for the third time since October, a move to try to cool inflation and grab greater control of an economy that grew faster than expected last year. The People's Bank of China will hike its one-year lending rate to 6.06% from 5.81%, while raising the one-year deposit rate to 3% from 2.75%. The rate increase was announced on the last day of the Lunar New Year holiday and will become effective Wednesday as markets reopen in China.
SPORTS
March 21, 2014 | By Walter Hamilton
A week-long rally in the stock market carried the Standard & Poor's 500 index to an intraday record Friday morning, the latest indication that investors worry more about missing potential gains than suffering losses. Stocks have been buoyed this week by generally positive economic data that have eased concerns about the potential for interest rates to rise next year. Stocks also have overcome geopolitical tensions between the United States and Russia, brushing aside the brinkmanship over the future of Crimea and the Ukraine.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
British authorities on Monday charged three former Barclays Bank employees with fraud for allegedly rigging a key interest rate in the run-up to the financial crisis. The country's Serious Fraud Office said it filed criminal charges against Peter Charles Johnson, Jonathan James Matthew and Stylianos Contogoulas in connection with the manipulation of the London interbank offered rate, known as Libor. The office, which investigates and prosecutes complex fraud cases, said the violations took place between June 2005 and August 2007.
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