August 23, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- As the Federal Reserve weighs an imminent cut in its extraordinary economic stimulus, many outside the United States are pleading with the Fed, “Would you consider the impact on us too?” That essentially was the message Friday from the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. Speaking at an opening luncheon of the Fed's summer conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Lagarde turned the spotlight on what has emerged as the main global economic issue of the day: the bold actions of central banks and, as she put it, how these policies “in one corner of the world can reach all corners.” While the IMF's managing director spoke generally about central banks, it was clear that she was focused on the Fed and the widespread expectation - some would say fears - that next month it will start scaling back a massive bond-buying program that has helped hold down long-term interest rates and, until recently, kept emerging markets flush with cheap money.
August 21, 2013 |
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes rose in July, as more inventory hit the market and an increase in mortgage interest rates likely motivated buyers. Sales were up 6.5% from the prior month and 17.2% from the same month a year earlier. Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units last month, the National Assn. of Realtors reported Wednesday. The chief economist of the group, Lawrence Yun, said in a news release that in the short-term, sales will jump as people fear getting priced out of the market.
August 21, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Reserve could start reducing its bond-buying program next month, but won't raise its near-zero short-term interest rate until at least 2016 -- a year later than current central bank projections suggest, Pimco Chief Executive Mohamed El-Erian said Wednesday. Speaking at a Washington panel on the economy, El-Erian predicted that policymakers would try to make more use of the Fed's forward guidance to try to offset the recent rise in long-term interest rates. Those rates have risen because investors have been anticipating the central bank decision to start tapering its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
August 12, 2013 |
NEW YORK -- New York's top law enforcement official has accused an Orange County-based lender of scamming borrowers out of "millions of dollars" with high-interest loans. CashCall, which is based in Anaheim, is one of two companies targeted by New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman for allegedly hitting cash-strapped New Yorkers with interest rates of 89% to 355% on personal loans. Schneiderman's office announced the civil action Monday against CashCall, South Dakota-based Western Sky, an affiliated company and their owners.
August 9, 2013 |
It took an entire summer of wrangling, but students heading to college this fall won't see dramatic student loan interest rate hikes once President Obama signs a deal on the matter, a move expected Friday. About 11 million college students are expected to benefit from the legislation, which brings interest rates near what they were before a temporary extension expired in June. Undergraduates will now be able to borrow at a 3.9% rate for subsidized and unsubsidized loans, according to legislation that was negotiated in July.
August 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Bank of England on Wednesday said it would maintain its stimulus program until the unemployment rate falls to 7%, following the same strategy as the U.S. Federal Reserve in providing an explicit target for when it would raise interest rates. The unemployment rate in Britain is 7.8% and is not forecast to drop to 7% for at least two years. The unemployment rate would need to fall to 7% before the bank's Monetary Policy Committee would consider raising its short-term interest rate from 0.5% and halting its bond-buying program, said Mark Carney, who took over as head of the British central bank last month.
August 1, 2013 |
Fixed mortgage rates moved higher this week after two weeks of declines, with the widely watched Freddie Mac survey pegging the average rate for a 30-year home loan at 4.39%, up from 4.31% last week. That makes five weeks in a row of readings well above 4%, as the market anticipates the eventual end of a Federal Reserve bond-buying program, an effort to keep long-term rates low. The Fed said Wednesday it would continue on course for now, but it's expected to start tapering off its purchases this year, which could put upward pressure on interest rates.
July 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The House passed a measure Wednesday that resolves a dispute over how to set student loan rates, sending it to President Obama, who has said he would sign the legislation "right away. " The compromise proposal, which passed 392 to 31, bases rates on the market and, at least temporarily, will allow some recipients of new federal student loans to pay lower rates than last year. As the economy improves, however, rates will increase. But the bill also caps the rates and allows borrowers to lock in interest rates over the life of the loan.
July 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve policymakers voted Wednesday to hold steady on short-term interest rates and the central bank's bond-buying program, but indicated that they expected economic growth to pick up. Following a two-day meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee offered no additional guidance on when it would start reducing its monthly purchases of $85 billion in bonds. The lack of significant new language likely meant the Fed is...
July 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Student borrowers will see interest rates reduced to levels near those that expired last month under a deal announced by lawmakers Thursday, potentially ending a battle over college costs that had divided Democrats and threatened to leave students with sharply higher costs. The legislation offered by a bipartisan group of senators largely follows the approach initially outlined by the Obama administration, which would base student loan rates on the 10-year Treasury note rate.