The following is the full text of the Beige Book released by the Federal Reserve on December 3, 2008 and based on information collected on or before November 24, 2008:
The market news on Black Friday is all about retail — so unsurprisingly, the news today is pretty bleak, as shoppers look to stretch tight budgets and thinner wallets. Retail chain CEOs who spoke to CNBC emphasized the positive, but industry analysts are already predicting a "red" Christmas. And investment strategists see a big cash-raising selloff in the works.
Home builder D.R. Horton reported a wider quarterly loss Tuesday — yet its shares jumped on U.S. government moves to buoy the financial sector. But home prices and mortgage rates dropped further with no floor in sight. Experts told CNBC the problem is market schizophrenia: equity markets have bottomed but credit markets are still spiralling downward.
The economy took a tumble in the summer that was worse than first thought as American consumers throttled back their spending by the most in 28 years.
The U.S. government's plan to inject $20 billion into Citigroup seemed to drive a stock market rally Monday — but failed to reassure analysts overall. CNBC canvassed the experts for their outlooks: Despite the uncertainty, one strategist says financials will lead the recovery — and another sees hyperinflation as the real danger ahead.
The Obama team has to project competence, confidence and commitment to swift, decisive action when it assumes office.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama may consider delaying a campaign promise to roll back tax cuts on high-income Americans as he works on a huge stimulus plan to counter the worst economic crisis the world has faced in decades.
Many financial assets across the world are looking cheap after the market ructions of the past year but investors in general have yet to rediscover the impulse to buy.
President-elect Barack Obama will announce the leaders of his economic team Monday, naming Timothy Geithner as treasury secretary and Lawrence Summers to direct the National Economic Council, transition officials said.
U.S. President George W. Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso and other members of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, or APEC, said they would refrain from raising trade barriers over the next 12 months.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama said Saturday he was crafting an aggressive two-year stimulus plan to revive the economy, warning that swift action was needed to prevent a deep slump.
Chaos reigns Friday: Lame-duck White House and Congress are unable to reach a decision on the financial crisis. Yet Citigroup stock inched up, despite misgivings over the CEO's determination not to break up the firm. And while legislators dither over the jet-setting Big 3 automakers' fates, one strategist told CNBC that Ford Motor stock could yet quadruple overnight. (You read that correctly.)
As the Dow opened to the upside on Friday, Jack Welch, former General Electric chairman & CEO, shared his insights on Detroit, the economy and Wal-Mart's new CEO.
The Big 3 U.S. automakers may have reached a bailout compromise Thursday — or not. Citigroup shares hover near $5, even after mega-investor Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he'd boost his Citi stake to 5 percent. Strategists told CNBC to expect more volatility — and no bottom for months yet.
Cuts to interest rates may not be enough in and of themselves to boost the economy, Pimco's Bill Gross said on Wednesday.
Things look worse for GM, Ford and Chrysler Wednesday as Congress seems less likely to approve a $25 billion automaker bailout. Stocks slipped — but some analysts say that slide had little to do with the Big 3. CNBC canvassed the experts, who foresee plunging oil prices, a stronger dollar — and say the market has already bottomed (!).
On Tuesday, U.S. legislators heard testimony from Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, the TARP bailout seems to ire everyone — and few can agree what to do with the Big 3 automakers. CNBC's experts offered their views on the economy — and actually found reason for investor hope.
Chairman Frank, Ranking Member Bachus, and Members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) regarding recent efforts to stabilize the nation's financial markets and reduce foreclosures.
Chairman Frank, Ranking Member Bachus, and other members of the Committee, I appreciate having this opportunity to review some of the activities to date of the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and to discuss recent steps taken by the Federal Reserve and other agencies to support the normalization of credit markets.