Federal Reserve

8:17am

Fri August 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Fed Chief Bernanke Issues Strong Hint Of Further Stimulus

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:49 am

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives for a dinner at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium on Thursday.
Ted S. Warren AP

As the AP reads it, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stopped just short of "committing the Fed to any specific move, such as another round of bond purchases to lower long-term interest rates."

Bernanke gave a speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wy. today. As with all his speeches, it was being closely watched for signs on what the Federal Reserve would do next.

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11:44am

Wed August 29, 2012
Planet Money

Household Debt : Falling. Slowly.

New York Fed

The New York Fed just put out its latest report on household debt. It's a good, quick-ish look at the debt picture for ordinary Americans. Here's the key graph:

It shows:

* Household debt is overwhelmingly about mortgages.

* Mortgage debt shot up during the housing boom, and has slowly — slowly — been falling for the past several years.

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3:11pm

Wed August 22, 2012
The Two-Way

Fed Hints At More Action To Boost Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke talks to educators Aug. 7 in Washington, D.C. At their most recent meeting, many Fed members backed action to boost the economy.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

The Federal Reserve could take more steps to boost the struggling U.S. economy. That's according to minutes released Wednesday of the Federal Open Market Committee's July 31-Aug. 1 meeting.

"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," the minutes said. [PDF]

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2:49pm

Tue August 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Ryan's Mission For Fed: Focus On Prices, Not Unemployment

Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 11:07 am

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke at the close of the committee's hearing on the state of the economy in February 2011.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Mitt Romney's new running mate has authored some provocative policy proposals to cut budget deficits and overhaul Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. But Rep. Paul Ryan has also been an advocate for a different course for the central banking system of the United States, the Federal Reserve.

For the past 35 years, the Fed has had a dual mandate from Congress: to set interest rates at levels that will both foster maximum employment and keep prices stable. Put another way, the Fed's goals are to get unemployment as low as possible while keeping inflation in check.

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3:00am

Tue August 7, 2012
Business

Business News

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with your happiness.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: That's the indicator Fed Chief Ben Bernanke wants to see. Bernanke told a conference of economists last night that despite data pointing to a recovery, many people still feel stressed. He said the economic well-being of Americans is the Fed's ultimate objective - that is, the sense that things are going well.

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