Federal Reserve http://www.globalpost.com/taxonomy/term/20553/all en Federal Reserve leaves US rates unchanged http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/federal-reserve-leaves-us-rates-unchanged <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Will they? Won't they? They won't. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thomas Mucha </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Forget Europe&#39;s pending euro meltdown, China&#39;s manufacturing slowdown and the general economic unease spreading across most of planet Earth.</p> <p> It appears that the US economy is doing just fine.&nbsp;</p> <p> That&#39;s the signal, anyway, from the US Federal Reserve, which today decided against cutting interest rates or doing much else to stimulate the US economy.&nbsp;</p> <p> The nation&#39;s employment and inflation watchdog says it is leaving short-term interest rates at near zero.</p> <p> Why?</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/federal-reserve-leaves-us-rates-unchanged" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Federal Reserve US Economy Business Global Economy Macro Tue, 13 Dec 2011 20:06:00 +0000 Thomas Mucha 5684164 at http://www.globalpost.com Decoding Ben Bernanke and the Fed: What is money, anyway? http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/money-federal-reserve <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The answer is not as simple as you think. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thomas Mucha </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> Hooray for Jon Hilsenrath, the Wall Street Journal&#39;s chief economics correspondent.</p> <p> Hilsenrath has done the world a favor by writing <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/12/28/what-is-money-and-how-do-you-destroy-it/" target="_blank">this must-read story</a>&nbsp;on the Journal&#39;s excellent <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/" target="_blank">Real Time Economics blog</a>:&nbsp;&quot;What is Money and How Do You Destroy It?&quot;</p> <p> It&#39;s 2,129 smart, well-researched and deeply-reported words that anyone who&#39;s interested in how the economy really works should read.</p> <p> In it, Hilsenrath deconstructs the many Republican presidential candidate criticisms of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke&#39;s policies, which Newt Gingrich calls &quot;the most inflationary and dangerous in history.&quot;</p> <p> But he also delves into deeper historical, philosophical and economic questions such as:</p> <p> <em>What is money?</em> (It&#39;s a medium of exchange).</p> <p> <em>How much money is out there, and what&#39;s it worth?</em> (It&#39;s complicated as the vast majority of money in the US economy isn&#39;t paper or coins, but rather &quot;a bunch of zeroes and ones, electronic accounts in computer systems that tally who owes what to whom,&quot; Hilsenrath writes).</p> <p> <em>How to know whether all the new electronically generated money is destroying the dollar?</em> (The dollar&#39;s value has been &quot;on a roller coaster&quot; since the 2008 Great Recession, and today it&#39;s worth just about the same as it was just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers).&nbsp;</p> <p> <em>How has inflation fared under Bernanke&#39;s Fed?</em> (&quot;Inflation might take off and wreck the purchasing power of a dollar. But official statistics suggest it hasn&rsquo;t yet happened,&quot; he writes).</p> <p> The piece ends on a cautionary note about the dollar&#39;s more recent value, and as the point bears remembering I&#39;ll quote Hilsenrath in full:</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/money-federal-reserve" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Ben Bernanke Federal Reserve US Economy Business Politics Macro Thu, 29 Dec 2011 15:05:00 +0000 Thomas Mucha 5685380 at http://www.globalpost.com Fed keeps interest rates near zero until 2014 http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/fed-keeps-interest-rates-near-zero-until-2014 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Federal Reserve does its part to help the US economy. Again. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thomas Mucha </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> The Federal Reserve is doing its best to do nothing.</p> <p> That&#39;s the quiescent&nbsp;<a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120125/fed-keeps-interest-rates-near-zero-until-2014-re" target="_blank">word out of Washington, D.C. today</a>, as Ben Bernanke and team said they would leave US interest rates at &quot;exceptionally low levels at least through late 2014.&rdquo;</p> <p> While noting some improvement in the overall labor market, the Fed gang pointed to a still-high unemployment rate, as well as the weak housing market and slowing business investment.</p> <p> So it&#39;ll try to keep things going in the world&#39;s largest economy, by keeping rates low.</p> <p> Here&#39;s the money quote, pulled from the latest <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20120125a.htm" target="_blank">Federal Open Market Committee notes</a>:</p> <blockquote><p> To support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at levels consistent with the dual mandate, the Committee expects to maintain a highly accommodative stance for monetary policy. In particular, the Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions--including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run--are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.</p> </blockquote> <p> But, as usual, I prefer my economic arguments in easy-to-digest rap form.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/fed-keeps-interest-rates-near-zero-until-2014" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Federal Reserve US Economy Business Global Economy Macro Wed, 25 Jan 2012 19:38:00 +0000 Thomas Mucha 5688903 at http://www.globalpost.com Ron Paul v. Ben Bernanke http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/ron-paul-ben-bernanke-inflation-parallel-currencies <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paul: "The Fed's going to self-destruct." </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thomas Mucha </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p> High drama in Washington, D.C. today, especially if you&#39;re a fan of presidential politics, Fed policy, or both.&nbsp;</p> <p> The venue: the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, given by US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.</p> <p> In one corner, US congressman and Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.</p> <p> Best line: &quot;The Fed is going to self-destruct when the money&#39;s gone.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p> In the other corner, Fed Chairman Bernanke.</p> <p> Best line: &quot;Good to see you again, Congressman Paul.&quot;</p> <p> Yes, both were ready to rumble, in a classic wonkfest-death-match.&nbsp;</p> <p> Of course, there&#39;s video.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/ron-paul-ben-bernanke-inflation-parallel-currencies" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Ben Bernanke Federal Reserve inflation Ron Paul Business Global Economy Macro Wed, 29 Feb 2012 19:28:00 +0000 Thomas Mucha 5694077 at http://www.globalpost.com Deutsche Bank: the Fed's QE program isn't powerful enough to offset a 'fiscal hurricane' http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/121115/the-feds-qe-program-offset-fiscal-hurricane <p>How well equipped is the Fed for staving off the looming fiscal cliff?</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/121115/the-feds-qe-program-offset-fiscal-hurricane" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Federal Reserve Business Debt Crisis Global Economy Thu, 15 Nov 2012 22:29:03 +0000 Matthew Boesler, Business Insider 5726170 at http://www.globalpost.com The Fed is more profitable than Apple and Exxon. Combined. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/the-fed-more-profitable-apple-and-exxon-combined <div class="field field-type-text field-field-subhead"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> How economic crisis can sometimes be good for the bottom line. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-byline1"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Thomas Mucha </div> </div> </div> <!--paging_filter--><p>The key to good business writing is the frame.</p> <p>In other words, how do you take arcane figures and put them into an easy-to-understand context that&#39;s smart, useful and memorable?</p> <p>Our friends at <a href="http://qz.com/" target="_blank">Quartz</a> nailed that task today, with a post titled <a href="http://qz.com/42515/the-us-fed-made-a-greater-profit-than-apple-and-exxon-combined-last-year/" target="_blank">&quot;The US Fed had a greater profit than Apple and Exxon combined last year.&quot;</a></p> <p>Catchy headline: check. Interesting topic: check.</p> <p>The skinny?</p> <p>The Federal Reserve turned a profit last year of $89 billion dollars, its best year in history.</p> <p>As Quartz points out, the combined profits of Apple and Exxon &mdash; America&#39;s two most profitable companies &mdash; top a little more than $82 billion.</p> <p>So how did the Fed do it?</p> <p>Economic crisis, of course.</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/the-fed-more-profitable-apple-and-exxon-combined" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Apple Exxon Federal Reserve US Economy Business Global Economy United States Macro Fri, 11 Jan 2013 15:00:00 +0000 Thomas Mucha 5733177 at http://www.globalpost.com After the Fed, China Bears return with vengeance http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130625/after-the-fed-china-bears-return-vengeance <p>Less than a week after the US Federal Reserve&nbsp;rattled global markets with talk about possibly easing its monetary stimulus this year, growing worries about a credit crunch in China suggest the risk appetite that was so strong just two months ago could take some time to return.&nbsp;</p> <p>In fact, fears that tight liquidity conditions could harm the world&#39;s second largest economy kept stock markets firmly in negative territory on Tuesday.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130625/after-the-fed-china-bears-return-vengeance" target="_blank">read more</a></p> China economy Federal Reserve money stocks Debt Crisis Want to Know China Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:59:56 +0000 Dhara Ranasinghe, CNBC 5867350 at http://www.globalpost.com