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.
June 25, 2013 |
More signs of distress in China's economy and rising bond yields led to a broad sell-off in stocks Monday, leaving the market down 5.7 percent from its all-time high last month. It's the first pullback of 5 percent or more since November. U.S. trading started with a slump Monday. The market recovered much of its loss, then fell back toward steeper losses again. By the close of trading, the big stock indexes were clinging to modest gains for the second quarter. The last day of trading for the quarter is Friday.
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.
April 17, 2012 |
It hurts paying taxes no matter how much you make. But what if you are out of work and don't have the money to pay by today's April 17 deadline? Herewith we offer some tips for taxpayers who are unemployed and can't pay their taxes on time. The Internal Revenue Service has a new form for you! The IRS is trying to provide what's called "penalty relief" to unemployed taxpayers. Some who have been out of work for 30 days or longer will be able to avoid failure-to-pay penalties, according to Isdaner & Co., certified public accountants based in Bala Cynwyd.
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.
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.
March 30, 1994 |
Like a villain in a bad horror movie, the balanced budget amendment pops back to life every time it is killed. The proposal was defeated by only 12 votes in the House on March 17 - just weeks after it was rejected by the Senate - encouraging its supporters to gear up for another try next year. The amendment is bad economics, but it will keep coming back until we debunk the economic myths perpetuated by the debate. Foremost, we need to understand what the national debt is and is not. It is not something we owe to other countries; it is a debt of the government to its own people.