fed

Why Interest Rates Keep Rising, Despite QE2

The Federal Reserve is doling out billions to buy bonds in hopes of keeping interest rates low and stimulating the economy. However, several powerful forces are working against that low-rate strategy, ranging from investor psychology to global competition for capital.

Markets Are On the Rise Since the Fed Launched QE2

Republican leaders may be worried about the Federal Reserve's second round of quantitative easing, but the stock and credit markets are not: They have improved significantly since the QE2 plan was announced, Bloomberg reported Friday. But can that rally be solely attributed to QE2?

Consumers May Get Hit With Higher Debit Card Fees

New rules proposed by the Fed for debit card transactions may mean that consumers end up paying much more for using their cards, while big retailers save billions. The proposed rules would sharply limit the transaction fees sellers have paid, which could push banks to recoup that money directly from buyers.

Citing 'Insufficient' Growth, Fed Keeps Policy Steady

The Federal Reserve Tuesday kept its current accommodative monetary policy going steadily and continued its program of quantitative easing, saying that the economic recovery is continuing, but the growth rate "has been insufficient to bring down unemployment."

Does the Stock Market Need to 'Take a Breather'?

Stock traders face plenty of economic news this week, and considering how much progress the market has recently made, it could be time for a bit of a pullback. But at least one trader thinks that's just what's needed to create a base for further gains ahead.

U.S. Households Grow 2.2% Wealthier

U.S. household wealth increased 2.2% in the third quarter as stock prices rose and consumers cut debt, according to a new Federal Reserve report.

Bank of America Says It's Ready to Exit TARP

Bank of America has told U.S. regulators that it has met the final condition that was set on its plan to exit the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program. BofA, which repaid $45 billion in TARP funds in December 2009, needed to raise $3 billion in capital by the end of 2010.

Federal Reserve Releases Massive Amount of Bailout Data

The Fed on Wednesday released detailed information about the efforts it took to stabilize financial markets during the recent downturn. The Fed, which is facing increasing criticism from conservatives, defended its actions, and noted that no money was lost on its bailout programs.

The Fed Sees a Slower Recovery and Jobs Rebound

In its latest meeting minutes, the Fed said it now expects the U.S. economy to grow more slowly in both 2010 and 2011, with as many as six years needed to return unemployment to normal levels of 5% to 6%.

The New Bank Stress Tests Show Just How Serious the Mortgage Mess Is

This week, the Congressional Oversight Panel recommended that the nation's big banks be stress tested again, because if problems with mortgage-backed securities are widespread, the consequences could be dire. Now, the Fed has agreed to run those tests, which it wouldn't do if it wasn't worried.

Fed Sets 'Stress Test' Deadline for Biggest Banks

The Federal Reserve has set a Jan. 7 deadline for the largest banks to prove they have the capital to withstand another financial crisis. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and 16 others will have to file so-called "stress test" documentation by then.

Why the Fed's Stimulus Only Boosts Emerging Markets

When QE2 is complete, the Fed's bond purchases will have injected $1.7 trillion in liquidity into the markets since 2008 in an effort to boost corporate investment in new production and new jobs in the U.S. Instead, companies are taking cash raised here and investing it in emerging markets.

Daily Blogwatch: Is Google a Monopoly?

Some of the best reads for investors from around the Web, including posts evaluating how consumers spend their money, whether Google could be considered a monopoly and the debate about the Fed's policy on quantitative easing.

Fed Eases Lending Standards, but Small Businesses Don't Bite

The more lenient lending policies enacted by the Federal Reserve last month have so far failed to increase demand from small businesses, indicating that the federal government's attempts to spur the U.S. economy through more aggressive monetary policy may need more time to take effect.

The Fed Tries Again to Buy Economic Growth

U.S. Federal Reserve today launched the second phase of its quantitative easing program, the so-called QE2, saying it will buy up to $600 billion more in long-term U.S. Treasury bonds to help stimulate a U.S. economy that's growing too slowly.

With All Eyes on Election, Stocks Barely Budge

Stocks closed essentially unchanged Friday as mixed economic news and earnings data failed to distract traders from next week's mid-term elections and Federal Reserve policy statement.

As the Dollar Weakens, Commodities Shine

Market watchers lately have loudly proclaimed the end of the dollar, which has left investors looking to stay ahead with a choice of betting on stocks, which have 17% fallen in the last decade, or staying "safe" in very low-yield money market funds. But there is an alternative: Commodities.

China Hikes Rates, and the World Stumbles

China surprised international markets Tuesday by raising key interest rates for the first time in three years. The action, taken primarily for domestic reasons, caused a worldwide sell-off driven by the worry that it could cause the Chinese economy to slow down.

Squeezing Seniors: Social Security Stays Flat as Prices Rise

Besides the unemployed, nobody is getting hurt worse in this economy than seniors. Prices on many commodities are skyrocketing, but the Consumer Price Index, which is the yardstick used to adjust Social Security for inflation, is virtually unchanged.

Stocks Close Mixed on Earnings and Economy

Stocks closed mixed Friday as Google's strong quarterly earnings lifted technology stocks but mounting concern over the foreclosure crisis and a revenue miss from General Electric weighed on financials and the broader market.

Mild Producer Price Hikes Ease Deflation Concerns

Producer prices rose a higher-than-expected 0.4% in September, but the core rate rose just 0.1%, the Labor Department said. The price increases point to a low-inflation environment, easing concerns that the world%u2019s largest economy will lapse into a dangerous deflationary spiral.

Fed's Hoenig Warns Against Further Monetary Action

Kansas City Federal Reserve President Thomas Hoenig broke ranks with some of his fellow regional Federal Reserve executives Tuesday, warning against further monetary action as a way to spur economic activity.

An Anxious Fed: Economy Needs More Time

The minutes of the Fed Open Market Committee's Sept. 20-21 meeting show a second round of quantitative easing may be needed "before long," but the bankers delayed any moves to collect more data and figure how to best to communicate the policy.

Safe Haven No More: Swiss Franc Headed for Trouble

The Swiss franc has been the second-best performing major currency over the past six months, outpacing the dollar by 8.9% and the euro by 7.8%, thanks to shaky conditions elsewhere in Europe. But a broad range of signs suggest the Swiss currency is due for at least a short-term correction.