September 17, 2012 |
The Federal Reserve has two goals set by Congress: "Maximum employment, and price stability," as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said Thursday. Until now, the Fed, under Bernanke and predecessor Alan Greenspan has mostly focused on keeping prices flat, setting interest rates and inflation targets to please investors so they will pump more money into the economy. But less than two months before national elections that could speed the end of his career, Bernanke announced a change: He promised to pay additional attention to "the employment situation" by spending an extra $40 billion a month to buy government-backed mortgage securities from investors and banks, pushing interest rates still lower - for as long as it takes to finally boost hiring.
April 29, 2012 |
Is compromise a dirty word? House Speaker John A. Boehner spoke for many politicians running for office when he declared, "I reject the word. " In the past, political leaders in the midst of election campaigns could declare their intent never to back down — and then once in office turn their attention to the give-and-take that is a necessary part of effective governance. But something has changed over the last several decades. We've entered a new era of the permanent campaign, where every day is effectively election day. Classic compromise — where all sides sacrifice something in order to improve on the status quo from their perspective — has become harder to conceive, let alone to achieve.
October 17, 2013 |
If the U.S. government defaults on its debt, what will be the impact in the financial world, and what does it mean for the average citizen? The answer: There would be a lot of pain to go around. Perhaps most disturbing would be universal doubt about the creditworthiness of the United States. It would be an unprecedented shattering of the international image of the nation. Right behind that comes wave after wave of fiscal uncertainty. That doubt will roil the markets, but it goes beyond just bad times for investors.
April 22, 2013
By Scott S. Powell U.S. stock prices have just reached record highs, erasing the losses since the previous 2007 peak. But the U.S. economy as measured by the labor-force participation rate, which captures the percentage of working-age people in the labor force, has just dropped to a new 34-year low of 63.3 percent. Since the Great Depression, recessions have always been followed by strong recoveries within two years of market bottoms. Not this time. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth from the market bottom in March 2009 has averaged 1.94 percent annually, the worst post-recession rebound in the last 70 years.
June 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Welcome to the U.S. Senate, Jeff Chiesa. Now get ready to vote on one of the country's most divisive debates: immigration reform. Chiesa, a New Jersey Republican sworn in June 10 to fill the seat of the late Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, is working out of a trailer where most of the walls are still bare, and he's still learning his way around the Capitol. He asked an aide to point to the nearest restroom after a vote Tuesday. So his views on complex legislation are still developing.
July 19, 2013
In the Region N.J., Pa. added jobs in June New Jersey and Pennsylvania saw increased hiring in June as employers added 4,600 positions in New Jersey and 19,100 in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Labor Department reported. Since June 2012, New Jersey payrolls have expanded by 74,800 jobs and Pennsylvania's by 32,800. Delaware's employment declined by 1,800 jobs from May to June, but expanded by 5,300 over the year. New Jersey's unemployment rate in June was 8.7 percent, up from 8.6 percent in May but down from 9.6 percent in June 2012.
August 8, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Fear has taken over on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrials fell 634.76 points, the first trading day since Standard & Poor's downgraded American debt. It was the sixth-worst point decline for the Dow in the last 112 years and the worst drop since December 2008. Every stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 index declined Monday. But the S&P downgrade wasn't the only catalyst Monday. Investors worried about the slowing U.S. economy, escalating debt problems threatening Europe and the prospect that fear in the markets would reinforce itself, as it did during the financial crisis in the fall of 2008.
August 12, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Three years ago, a financial crisis triggered by bad mortgage investments spread from U.S. banks to Europe. Panicky financial markets tanked. Now fear is running in the opposite direction. Worries about toxic government debt held by European banks have hammered U.S. stocks. And they threaten to freeze credit on both sides of the Atlantic. And traders are wondering: Could Europe's government-debt crisis spread through the U.S. financial system? No one's sure because no one knows how much toxic debt European banks hold - or how much risk that debt poses to U.S. banks.
October 29, 1989 |
Picture a family hooked on credit cards living beyond its means. New clothes? Charge it. More medicine? Charge it. A night on the town? Charge it. Pretty soon the situation is out of hand. The parents have to borrow money just to pay the monthly interest. The balance owed on their credit cards keeps rising, faster and faster. Some restraint is attempted, but results are mixed. The parents can't stop whipping out the plastic. That is the situation of the federal government as it closes the borrow- and-spend decade of the 1980s.
December 15, 2011 |
NEW YORK - A growing sense that Europe's leaders have failed to contain that region's debt crisis swept through financial markets Wednesday. It started with the euro dropping below $1.30 for the first time since January and a jump in borrowing costs for Italian government debt. By the end of the trading day the Dow had lost 131 points, European stock indexes fell as much as 3 percent, and gold dropped $76, ending below $1,600 an ounce for the first time in more than two months. Investors dumped assets that might be seen as risky and piled into the most conservative ones around: the dollar and U.S. government debt.