monetary policy

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What to Expect From Janet Yellen's Fed

Analysts praise pick; 'she's a real mensch'

(Newser) - President Obama will formally announce Janet Yellen as his pick to run the Fed today, in a move that seems to be garnering widespread praise in the financial industry. Here's what you need to know about the prospective chief:
  • She Cares a Lot About Jobs: Most of Yellen's
... More »

Please, Let the Next Fed Chief Be Dull

Federal Reserve and its recent leaders have gotten too big for their britches: Amar Bhide

(Newser) - Even casual observers of DC politics probably know that Larry Summers and Janet Yellen are the leading candidates to replace Ben Bernanke as the Fed chair. And that's a problem, writes Amar Bhide in the New York Times . He thinks the position of Fed chief has become way too... More »

Bernanke to Congress: Stop Screwing the Economy

Says he's not taking his foot off the gas with monetary policy

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve isn't planning to take its foot off the gas pedal anytime remotely soon, Ben Bernanke told Congress today, while rebuking legislators for not doing their own part to juice the economy. The Fed's interest rate has been near zero since 2008, and Bernanke said he... More »

Fed Announces $45B-a-Month Bond Buy

Plans to hold interest rates down until jobless rate hits 6.5%

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve dropped a bombshell today, announcing that it would spend $45 billion a month on bond purchases to keep interest rates low, and that it would keep its short-term rates near zero as long as it takes to get unemployment below 6.5%. It will also keep up... More »

Ron Paul's Money Policy Would Trigger Next Depression

Unfortunately, his views are embraced by the GOP: Paul Krugman

(Newser) - It seems to be Ron Paul's turn in the GOP spotlight, and while he may be a longshot to win the nomination, his views on monetary policy are representative of the party establishment—and they're highly dangerous, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times . Paul believes in... More »

Dollar Nears 3-Year Low

Set for biggest weekly plunge since January

(Newser) - The dollar’s value today remained near its lowest in three years against multiple currencies, and it’s set for its largest weekly drop since January, Reuters reports. The figures follow the Federal Reserve’s suggestion that it had no immediate plans to tighten its monetary policy, prompting a big... More »

Palin to Bernanke: Cease and Desist!

Alaskan slams 'quantitative easing' policy

(Newser) - Chinese and German finance chiefs enraged by Fed chief Ben Bernanke's plans to inject $600 billion into the economy by buying Treasury bonds have found a somewhat unlikely ally: Sarah Palin. The Alaskan slammed the "quantitative easing" policy in a speech to a trade group yesterday, using terminology foreign... More »

China: Feeble Dollar Is Hurting Our Economy

'Out of control' printing of dollars is triggering inflation, says minister

(Newser) - China has countered American anger over its artificially low currency with a complaint of its own. America is printing dollars at an "out of control" rate, sending up commodity prices around the world and saddling China with "imported inflation," the country's commerce minister grouses. Inflation in China—... More »

Bernanke: Fed Still Has Tricks Up Its Sleeves

... but it's not going to use them unless things get even worse

(Newser) - Ben Bernanke admitted that economic growth was “less vigorous than expected,” in his speech at Jackson Hole today, but said the Federal Reserve wasn’t going to act just yet. The Fed Funds Rate is near zero, but Bernanke said the central bank still had some “unconventional... More »

Bernanke: Interest Rates May Rise

Fed chair leaves door open, but emphasizes reform

(Newser) - Ben Bernanke today left the door open to higher interest rates, saying the increase might be needed to prevent new speculative investment bubbles from forming. But for critics who blame the Fed for feeding that speculative housing boom by holding interest rates too low for too long after the 2001... More »

'Formidable Headwinds' Hinder Recovery: Bernanke

Weak credit and labor markets mean recovery will be slow: Fed chair

(Newser) - Ben Bernanke painted a stark picture of the economy today, warning that "formidable headwinds" are working against the incipient recovery. Despite an unexpectedly positive jobs report, the pace of expansion is likely to remain "moderate," the Fed chair said. “Despite the general improvement in financial conditions,... More »

If Economists Fail, Don't Blame Economics

...don't give up on economics

(Newser) - Economists have made some disastrous calls recently, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on economics, opines an editorial in the Economist. True, too few economists predicted the financial crisis, but the current backlash, which assumes that the dismal science is basically useless, has gone too far. “... More »

A Frosty Merkel Arrives in DC

Economy, Afghanistan cloud chancellor's talks with Obama

(Newser) - Angela Merkel arrives in Washington today for a two-day visit, where the German chancellor will hold talks with President Obama before a rare joint press conference in the Rose Garden. Yet despite the smiles, the two leaders have a strained if not frosty relationship, with both sides carping about economic... More »

Merkel Rips the Fed for Deepening Crisis

German chancellor says central banks have made economy worse

(Newser) - World leaders rarely criticize central banks in public, but yesterday Angela Merkel laid into the Fed, the European Central Bank, and other institutions for deepening the global economic crisis. In a tough speech, the German chancellor claimed that the banks were too powerful, had acted too aggressively, and, in the... More »

2008 Inflation Slowest in 50 Years on Oil Prices, Economy

Slow spending, sliding energy costs lead to 0.1% CPI increase last year

(Newser) - In 2008, consumer prices crept up at the slowest rate since 1954, climbing just 0.1% for the year and missing the Fed’s preference of 1.5% to 2% by a wide margin, the Wall Street Journal reports. Just months after inflation hit 17-year highs, a 75% drop in... More »

Obama Must Spend Boldly— or It's Great Depression II

Only government can save us now: Krugman

(Newser) - For decades economists believed that a second Great Depression was impossible; all the Fed had to do, they said, is print more money. But as Paul Krugman writes, monetary policy has failed; despite "supplying liquidity like an engine crew trying to put out a five-alarm fire," credit remains... More »

Think 1% Is Low? He Could Go to Zero

Analysts predict Japan-style cuts in interest rates

(Newser) - Yesterday Ben Bernanke cut the federal funds rate to an ectomorphic 1%—but the Fed might not be done yet. More and more analysts are predicting that the central bank will have to cut rates all the way to zero if it wants to get the economy moving again. But... More »

Bailouts Blast Fed Into Uncharted Territory

Central bank's new roles stretch balance sheet to the limit

(Newser) - The Fed's mammoth bailout of financial firms is unprecedented in the history of the central bank, which now must play new and contradictory roles, the New York Times reports. The Fed has often been called the nation's lender of last resort—but the acquisition of AIG and holding of Bear... More »

Wait on Rate Hikes Until Crisis Eases

Fed should ignore critics, hold its ground until markets rebound

(Newser) - Critics claim the Federal Reserve has been too eager to cut interest rates, and that lax policy has exacerbated inflation. But the Fed should hold its ground, Desmond Lachman argues in the American, until the housing and credit markets are clearly on the rebound. The credit crunch has prompted banks... More »

Fed's Broader Portfolio Raises Some Worries

Central bank appears deft so far, but crisis could stretch it thinner

(Newser) - Ben Bernanke has been busy recently—too busy, in the minds of some. The chairman has expanded the Federal Reserve's role beyond traditional monetary policymaker to being an all-purpose protector of the financial system. Many of his dramatic moves—the Bear Stearns buyout, backstopping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—averted... More »

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