Finance

12:53pm

Wed June 19, 2013
The Two-Way

Fed Leaves Interest Rates And Bond Purchase Plan Untouched

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday that a fall in the unemployment rate would not automatically trigger a rise in interest rates. He spoke to the media after the central bank issued a policy update.
Susan Walsh AP

The Federal Reserve will continue its program of purchasing $85 billion in securities and will leave the target interest rate for federal funds untouched to support the U.S. economy, the U.S. central bank said in a policy update issued Wednesday afternoon.

Here's a summary of the state of the U.S. economy from the Fed, which concluded two days of meetings today:

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3:26am

Mon June 17, 2013
Economy

Long-Term Interest Rates Start Moving Higher

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:13 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, Scott just made clear economic issues have some competition for top billing at the G 8 Summit in Northern Ireland. We do, though, want to drill down into one economic question this morning, and that's why interest rates here at home are going up. The bond market has pushed them to the highest levels in 15 months, and that includes mortgage rates.

Let's turn, as we often do, to David Wessel. He's economics editor of The Wall Street Journal. David, good morning.

DAVID WESSEL: Good morning.

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3:14pm

Fri June 14, 2013
Business

Housing Market Watchers Edgy As Mortgage Rates Keep Climbing

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:12 pm

Home values have been rising in recent months, but mortgage rates have taken a rapid turn upward as well. Some investors are worried that the housing recovery may stall if mortgage rates jump too quickly.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Mortgage rates have seen a relatively sharp rise this month. The average 30-year fixed-rate loan hit 4 percent earlier in June — a big jump from the record lows of recent years. Some investors are now concerned that the housing recovery could be stifled if rates continue to rise quickly.

The Federal Reserve has two main missions: to maximize employment and minimize inflation. Right now, there are few, if any, signs that prices for goods are spiking, and the job market is still crawling out of its long, deep slump.

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3:34am

Fri June 7, 2013
Business

Ill. Assembly Called Back To Work On Pension Fund Shortfall

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with pension problems for Illinois.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The credit rating for the state of Illinois has taken another step closer to junk bond status. Illinois already had the lowest credit rating in the nation before it was downgraded again this week by Moody's and Fitch. The state legislature adjourned last week without addressing a $100 billion pension shortfall.

So as NPR's David Schaper reports, the governor is calling lawmakers back.

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1:24am

Wed June 5, 2013
Adventures In Investing

Resisting The Temptation To 'Win' When Investing

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 6:17 pm

Hey mutual fund investors: Think you can beat the market? Charley Ellis, who's worked in investment management for 50 years, doubts it. That's because the fees actively managed funds charge can get expensive.
Richard Drew AP

NPR's Uri Berliner is taking $5,000 of his own savings and putting it to work. Though he's no financial whiz or guru, he's exploring different types of investments — alternatives that may fare better than staying in a savings account that's not keeping up with inflation.

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