Below is the statement released by the Federal Open Market Committee after its Dec. 15-16 meeting on interest rate policy:
With the Fed's key rate dropping closer to zero, the central bank is moving into uncharted territory. Still, Fed Chairman Bernanke has made it clear the Fed isn't running out of ammunition yet.
The Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates to close to zero on Tuesday and may point to further unconventional steps to battle a year-old recession.
"We have to sit down and figure what kind of life we have left," says Joan Sinkin, who with her husband, lost their life savings.
Some economists say it's time for Fed Chairman Bernake to just say no to Wall Street and cut interest rates less than the half point that's expected at Tuesday's meeting.
Numbers from the fed today demonstrated the turmoil that swept our ecoomy in the third quarter.
The survival of the U.S. economy depends on helping homeowners, said John Bogle, The Vanguard Group founder and former CEO.
Murky signs: Markets had rallied Wednesday morning on the belief that an auto industry bailout was all but certain. But some GOP legislators are opposing the White House deal with congressional Democrats. A top analyst sees financials in critical condition until 2010, but a peer says he's been buying bank stocks and socking them away. And a CNBC guest said commodities are going to lead a 50% S&P rally.
An auto industry bailout package seems inevitable Tuesday — and the dollar and U.S. stocks are riding the expectation higher. The news continued to be glum for small business owners struggling with the recession and retailers, whose holiday sales may be even weaker than expected. But top analysts told CNBC they expect a Christmas-New Year's Eve rally and see an energy stock recovery in the works.
Obama's plan to spend billions on infrastructure appears aimed at helping cash-strapped states as much as the average worker.
President-elect Barack Obama announced over the weekend that his plan to stimulate the nation's lagging economy involves making big investments in infrastructure. CNBC asked the pros to weigh in on the president-elect's proposal.
The White House said Monday it was "very likely" to reach a deal with Congress to aid U.S. auto makers — providing Democratic legislators can offer specific terms. Meanwhile, more glum earnings and job-cut statements came from 3M, MetLife and Dow Chemical. Crunching these concepts together, experts told CNBC that the market is bottoming and the smart money is quietly starting to buy up energy, tech stocks — and airlines.
Blacker Friday? Job losses in November were the worst since 1974, as U.S. employers cut payrolls by 533,000. Mortgage loan delinquencies and foreclosures hit record highs in the third quarter — though one economist likes falling mortgage rates. Merrill Lynch cut its oil forecast, saying a temporary downspike of $25 is even possible. But one analyst praised the oil plunge as the equivalent of a "huge tax cut."
Once the initial knee-jerk doom-and-gloom reaction is over, something resembling optimism will prevail in the conclusion that the worst is over for the economy.
Job losses hit 533,000 in November, the markets continue to swing like a pendulum and Congress is weighing a major restructuring of the Big Three automakers. To help viewers make sense of the current economic environment, CNBC asked the experts to share their insight.
Lousy sales, weak earnings and more layoffs reigned over Thursday, with glum news from Nokia, Viacom, Merck, AT&T, DuPont, Credit Suisse and retailers across the board. European central banks enacted big rate cuts. And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke urged more government efforts to stanch soaring home foreclosures. But CNBC heard from experts who say that while the news will get worse through 2009, markets will periodically rally — and one strategist sees the Dow at 12,000 in 2010.
Fed Chairman Bernanke called on the government to ramp up efforts to stem soaring home foreclosures.
As U.S. automakers sell their rescue plan to Congress on Thursday and the markets digest more grim jobs data, CNBC asked American CEOs their perspective on the economy, budget and bailouts.
President-elect Barack Obama nominated Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) for commerce secretary Wednesday, the same day that United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger announced the UAW would make huge concessions in order to help the Big 3 automakers nail government bailout funds. CNBC heard from experts who said the drop in gasoline prices bodes well for the first quarter and Ben Bernanke just may save us from a severe recession. (UPDATED)
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: