Tag: Interest Rates

What’s Wrong With Functional Finance? (Wonkish)

ImageStill relevant after all these yearsCreditAmazon.com Well, it looks as if policy debates over the next couple of years will be at least somewhat affected by the doctrine of Modern Monetary Theory, which some progressives appear to believe means that they don’t need to worry about how to pay for their initiatives. That’s actually wrong […]

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Flip-Flop by Fed Scrambles Outlook for World Markets

Once again, the Federal Reserve has upended markets. Investors had been bracing for the Fed to keep raising interest rates and shrinking its vast portfolio of assets, the equivalent of tapping on the brakes of the United States economy. But this year, the central bank has signaled that it was backing off. Much has been […]

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Your Money Adviser: After Burst of Holiday Spending, a Plan for a ‘Frugal February’

It’s bitterly cold, and holiday bills have drained your bank account. Time for “Frugal February,” when splurging on restaurant meals is out and saving money by dining on home-cooked fare is in. A prime reason to observe Frugal February, personal finance experts say, is that consumers tend to overspend during the December holidays and need […]

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Trump’s Policies, Not His Insults, Contributed to the Fed’s Shift

WASHINGTON — President Trump in 2018 repeatedly urged the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates, warning that its “crazy” policies were jeopardizing the economic expansion. This week, the Fed stopped. The central bank did not raise its benchmark rate at its first meeting of 2019, and said it had no plans to raise rates […]

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Here’s What the Fed’s Halt on Interest Rates Means for Your Wallet

The Federal Reserve indicated on Wednesday that it was done raising interest rates for the foreseeable future, after a run of incremental increases that began to affect the typical consumer’s wallet. The decision will hold the central bank’s benchmark for short-term rates to a target between 2.25 and 2.5 percent, the level it reached in […]

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The Hot Topic in Markets Right Now: ‘Quantitative Tightening’

Anyone paying attention to financial markets in recent months knew that the Federal Reserve’s management of the economy was perhaps the single most important question on the minds of investors. The Fed, of course, has been raising interest rates, including four increases last year, which unnerved many investors. These days, though, the focus has shifted […]

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Fed Expected to Hold Rates Steady and Emphasize Patience

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve has adopted a new theme for the new year: patience. It is not expected to announce any change in its benchmark interest rate on Wednesday, after its first policymaking meeting of 2019. The Fed’s chairman, Jerome H. Powell, is expected to emphasize that the Fed will take time to evaluate […]

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The World Economy Just Can’t Escape Its Low-Growth, Low-Inflation Rut

ImageThe New York Stock Exchange this month. Markets went haywire at the end of 2018, but what story were they telling?CreditJohannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Fears of an imminent recession, which caused major turbulence in financial markets at the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019, have eased a bit. That’s the good news. […]

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Wall St. Is Making a Comeback. Was It Something the Fed Said?

Stocks have staged a remarkable turnaround in the early days of 2019, rebounding after an end-of-the-year tailspin that was fomented by fears of recession in the United States. Three straight weeks of gains in the new year on Wall Street have erased nearly all of 2018’s losses. It’s the best start to a year since […]

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Fed Ready to Pause on Interest Rate Increases

A pair of influential Federal Reserve officials said Wednesday that the central bank should pause to assess economic conditions before considering additional increases in its benchmark interest rate, reinforcing the message delivered last week by the Fed chairman, Jerome H. Powell. The Fed on Wednesday also published an account of its most recent meeting, in […]

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Fed Chairman Powell to Markets: I Hear You

ImageThe Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, left, with his two immediate predecessors, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, in Atlanta on Friday.CreditJessica Mcgowan/Getty Images ATLANTA — It was only 16 days ago when the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and its chairman, Jerome Powell, conveyed that he was fundamentally confident about the outlook for the United States […]

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Powell Says Fed Prepared to ‘Shift’ Path as Economic Data Warrant

ATLANTA — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell sought to calm worried investors on Friday, casting the United States economy as strong but promising to adjust monetary policy quickly if global growth slows under the burden of an ongoing trade war. “I think the markets are pricing in downside risks, is what they’re doing,” Mr. […]

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Common Sense: This Expert Called the Market Plunge. Here’s What He Sees in 2019.

A year ago, in the wake of President Trump’s tax cut, euphoric investors pushed the Dow Jones industrial average past 25,000, a record. The Dow had just gained 25 percent in 2017, and the Nasdaq had leapt 28 percent. Volatility was so low that there wasn’t a single day in 2017 when the S&P 500 […]

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U.S. Auto Sales Put Up a Big Number, but Show Signs of Strain

As they recorded another year of strong United States sales, automakers said Thursday that they saw little cause for concern in the months ahead. But a closer look shows signs of strain emerging on several fronts. Annual sales reached 17.3 million new cars and light trucks last year, a rise of 0.6 percent from 2017. […]

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Stock Market Rout Has Trump Fixated on Fed Chair Powell

WASHINGTON — President Trump has unabashedly hitched his political fortunes to a rising stock market. Now, with stock prices in retreat, he has become increasingly fixated on the idea that one man is to blame for the recent rout: Jerome H. Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve. After the Fed raised its benchmark interest rate […]

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Mulvaney and Mnuchin Say Trump Knows He Lacks Authority to Fire Fed Chairman

Mick Mulvaney, the incoming acting White House chief of staff, said on Sunday that President Trump does not believe he has the authority to the fire the Fed chairman, Jerome H. Powell, echoing comments made by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The statements came after news reports began circulating that Mr. Trump had asked aides whether […]

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Top Official Says the Fed Will Adjust if the Economy Weakens

WASHINGTON — A senior Federal Reserve official soothed financial markets on Friday morning, emphasizing that the Fed is paying attention to concerns about economic growth, and will adjust its plans as necessary. “We’re going to go into the new year with eyes wide open, willing to read the data, listen to what people are saying, […]

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Hard-Money Men, Suddenly Going Soft

I have a confession to make: I have been insufficiently cynical about modern conservative economics. Longtime readers may find this hard to believe. After all, I declared Paul Ryan a “flimflam man” back when all the cool kids were gushing about his courage and honesty, giving him awards for fiscal responsibility. (Events have settled the […]

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Global Markets Follow Wall St.’s Slide After Fed’s Move on Rates

Global markets on Thursday echoed Wall Street’s drop from the day before, and central backs were the most likely culprit. Japanese investors led their counterparts around the world in mirroring Wall Street’s disappointment in the actions the Federal Reserve took on Wednesday. The Fed, as expected, raised its benchmark interest rate one-quarter of a percentage […]

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