fed

Bernanke Defends Fed's Low-Interest-Rate Policies

Facing criticism from Republican lawmakers, Chairman Ben Bernanke stood behind the Federal Reserve's low-interest-rate policies Wednesday and sought to reassure Congress that the central bank has a handle on the risks. Bond purchases are needed to help boost a still-weak economy, Bernanke said.

Bernanke Signals Continued Fed Support for Low Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve's low interest-rate policies are giving key support to an economy still burdened by high unemployment, Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Tuesday. Bernanke signaled that the Fed's efforts to keep borrowing costs low -- buying treasuries and mortgage bonds -- will continue.

Bernanke Says Fiscal Cliff Already Hurting Economy

The U.S. economy is already being hurt by the "fiscal cliff" standoff in Washington, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday. But Bernanke said the Fed believes the crisis will be resolved without significant long-term damage.

Fed Says It Will Keep Interest Rates Low Until Jobs Come Back

The Federal Reserve says it will keep spending $45 billion a month to sustain an aggressive drive to keep long-term interest rates low, with the express purpose of hitting the accelerator on economic growth until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent.

Fed Cites Moderate U.S. Growth, Takes No New Action

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the U.S. economy is improving only moderately and still needs its support to help lower unemployment. The Fed took no new action after a two-day policy meeting. It wants time to assess whether aggressive steps launched in September will boost growth and job creation.

Fed: Housing Lifts Growth in Most U.S. Regions

Stronger housing markets helped boost economic growth at the end of the summer in nearly every region of the United States, according to a Federal Reserve survey released Wednesday.

Fed Open to Linking Rate Hike to Economic Gauge

The Federal Reserve wants to find a clearer way to signal to the public when it might start raising interest rates. The Fed plans to keep short-term rates low for at least another three years, but it appears to be leaning toward setting a more specific target.

And the Number One Threat to the Market Is...

With the market in exuberant, can't lose bull-mode, we asked a group of our favorite investors, strategists, and economists a simple question: What's the #1 threat to the market right now? Here are the answers we got.

Expectations High for Major Fed Action Thursday

If the world's investors are right, the Federal Reserve is about to take a bold new step to try to invigorate the U.S. economy. And many expect the Fed to unleash its most potent weapon: a third round of bond purchases meant to ease long-term interest rates and spur borrowing and spending.

Stocks Higher, but Volatile, After Bernanke Speaks

Investors liked what they heard from Ben Bernanke, and stocks rose enough to put them into positive territory for August. The Federal Reserve chairman said on Friday morning that the Fed is ready to help the economy with more bond-buying.

A Word From Bernanke Turns Stocks Around

Stocks opened lower Friday but reversed course after a letter surfaced from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, suggesting there was room for the central bank to do more to help the economy.

Fed Officials Weighed Need to Help Economy Further

Federal Reserve officials spoke with increased urgency at their last meeting about the need to provide more help for a weak U.S. economy. Many members felt further support would be needed "fairly soon" unless the economy improved significantly, the minutes of the July 31-Aug. 1 meeting show.

Fed Notes Better Economy, Takes No Policy Action

The Federal Reserve offered a more positive view of the economy after a burst of hiring since its last meeting. It held off taking further steps to boost the recovery and reiterated its plan to keep short-term interest rates near zero until at least late 2014. The Fed's statement issued after Tuesday's one-day meeting was more upbeat than the one it released in January.

Fed Survey Shows Economy Ended 2011 with Strength

The final weeks of 2011 were among the economy's strongest as Americans shopped and traveled more, ending the year with a shot of optimism for 2012. That's the bright picture the Federal Reserve sketched in a survey released Wednesday.

Fed to Test Six Big Banks for Euro Stress

The Federal Reserve plans to stress test six large U.S. banks against a hypothetical market shock, including a deterioration of the European debt crisis, as part of an annual review of bank health. The Fed said it will publish next year the results of the tests for six banks that have large trading operations: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

Overdraft Fees Remain High Despite Fed Rules

A year after the Federal Reserve enacted new rules to rein in abusive bank overdraft practices, fees remain high and some institutions actually have slapped on additional penalties, according to a new survey by the Consumer Federation of America.

Yes, Stocks Are Extremely Volatile. But Don't Panic!

Investors are running scared after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of Japan and left it with an ongoing nuclear crisis. Pain for Japan could easily infect the global economy. But when there's gloom in the air, there's also opportunity to buy on the dip and gain from the rebound.

Can the Fed Keep Downplaying Inflation?

When a Federal Reserve committee meets Tuesday to consider the federal interest rate, it will likely revise its glum outlook into something brighter. But will it also acknowledge the U.S.'s growing inflation problem?

Labor's Fall -- Not Oil's Rise -- Is Key to Inflation

Despite all the worry over the impact of rising oil prices, recall that the U.S. is now a largely services-based economy, and observe that the rising wages that have led to real overall cost rises in decades past are nowhere to be found today. Exhibit A is in Wisconsin.

Why a Little Inflation Is a Good Thing for Americans

Inflation has inched higher in the past six months, but that's not a danger sign, but rather a harbinger of improving economic conditions and a strengthening recovery. And that, in turn, should lead to higher wages and more hiring in the year ahead.

Inflation Warning: Should the Fed Raise Interest Rates?

It's no surprise that consumer prices are rising -- the prices of commodities from cotton to copper are near record levels, thanks to shrinking supplies and rising demand worldwide. The question is whether the Fed will raise rates to combat this price inflation -- and whether it should.

Currency Wars: How Ben Bernanke Outsmarted China

After years of exhorting China to increase the value of its yuan, the currency is finally rising: It has appreciated some 3.5% since June while China battles inflation and works to cool its red-hot economy. Here's how the Fed managed to succeed where political wrangling fell short.