monetary policy

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.

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.

Fed Unveils Bold, Open-Ended Steps to Aid Economy

The Federal Reserve says it will spend $40 billion a month to purchase mortgaged-back securities because the economy is too weak to reduce high unemployment. The Fed says it will keep buying the securities until the job market shows substantial improvement.

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 Takes No New Action at Final Meeting of 2011

The Federal Reserve says the economy has grown moderately as hiring and consumer spending have improved. As a result, it's holding off on any new steps to boost the economy. But Fed officials, noting that unemployment remains high and global economic growth has slowed, left open the possibility of taking new steps next year if the economy worsens.

Fed Holds Off On Further Actions To Help Economy

The Federal Reserve is holding off on any new actions to help the economy because stronger growth is giving it time to gauge the impact of steps it's already taken. Fed policymakers made the announcement after a two-day meeting.

Gold-Backed U.S. Currency? Yes, But 'U' Stands for Utah

Earlier this year, the Utah state legislature passed a law making gold and silver coins legal tender. Now, a Salt Lake City-area numismatist hopes to set up a depository system that will allow Utahans to use gold and silver to pay for anything they want.

Why the Dollar Is Stuck at Three-Month Lows

One would think that with the Mideast crisis East, oil prices skyrocketing and U.S. manufacturing rebounding smartly, the buck would be flying high. But no. Why that's so may lie in international perceptions about where interest rates are heading.

Trapped: The Fed Has Painted Itself Into a Corner

Having committed itself to near-zero-percent interest rates and quantitative easing, the Fed is now caught in a double bind: Continue those policies and keep pumping money into speculative, inflation-hiking commodity bets or end them and let rates rise, with the harmful economic impact.