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  • Fed: Tighter Credit Hurts Housing, Not Economy Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 4:42 PM ET

    Financial market turbulence leading to tighter mortgage lending standards noticeably hurt housing activity in most Federal Reserve districts in recent weeks, adding uncertainty about the recovery of the downtrodden housing sector, the Fed said on Wednesday.

  • Stocks End With Broad Losses on Fed's Economic Report Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 4:13 PM ET

    Stocks closed broadly lower and the Dow saw a triple-digit loss amid mixed signals from the Federal Reserve and weak economic data. "I think the market is going through a tremendous amount of uncertainties," said John Manley, private client strategist at Smith Barney.

  • Pending Home Sales Plunge; Private Job Gains Fade Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 1:46 PM ET

    Pending sales of existing U.S. homes plunged by a record 12.2 percent in July, and private employers hired the fewest workers in more than four years in August, according to reports released Wednesday that point to a weakening U.S. economy.

  • Home Builders: How About A Little More Talk? Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 1:23 PM ET
    Ara Hovnanian

    I couldn’t have been less welcome if I were a subprime borrower begging a bank for a jumbo loan. There I stood, in the early September heat, smack in front of the visitor's entrance of the Federal Reserve, as the CEOs of the nation’s very top home builders filed out of a meeting with the Fed Chairman. They may not have marched in lock step, but their refusal to talk to me was in dead-bolt lock step.

  • Beige Book Now The Street's Focus Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 11:52 AM ET

    Ben Bernanke's comments last week that "we will pay particularly close attention to the timeliest indicators, as well as information gleaned from our business and banking contacts around the country" is causing traders to focus their attention on the Beige Book, which is out at 2:00 today.

  • Euro zone growth next year could be weakened by the credit crisis triggered by high-risk U.S. mortgage debt, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Wednesday.

  • Futures: Why They're  Lower Right Now Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 8:53 AM ET

    Futures lower this morning for several reasons: 1) LIBOR (London Interbank Offering Rate) higher in London; this is important becuase a large amount of corporate financing is tied to it. 2) Challenger, Gray & Christmas August job cuts up 85% from July, 21.7% from same period last year.

  • U.S. Mortgage Applications Climb, ARM Rates Higher Wednesday, 5 Sep 2007 | 7:12 AM ET

    Applications for U.S. home loans rose last week, while the highest adjustable rate mortgages in over six years put another nail in the coffin of the once-torrid sector, an industry group's data showed on Wednesday.

  • RBA Leaves Cash Target Rate at 6.5% Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 8:05 PM ET

    The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) said Wednesday its board decided to leave the cash target rate at 6.50 percent after Tuesday's monthly policy meeting.

  • Fed's Lacker Says Rate Cut Is Not Automatic Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 4:30 PM ET

    Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker said on Tuesday he would back an interest rate cut if the evidence pointed to slowing U.S. economic growth and diminished inflation, but he warned that this outcome was by no means automatic.

  • Fed Banks Wanted Discount Rate Held Steady Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 2:44 PM ET

    All 12 regional Federal Reserve banks asked the U.S. central bank's board to hold the cost of emergency loans steady in July and the first week of August, with most bank directors seeing little threat from tightening credit conditions.

  • Bond Prices Help Ease Street Fears Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 1:44 PM ET

    Lower short-term bond prices are being seen as a sign of less fear by the Street, which is helping support stocks this morning. Trading desks falling all over themselves this morning advising clients on how to play the expected September volatility. After years where no one made money playing volatility, that is the big call.

  • Buckle Up - Are You Ready to Retest the Lows? Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 12:45 PM ET

    Central bankers and politicians are in the business of confidence building. Without it, markets - financial or otherwise - do not function. Both Bush and Bernanke did what they are tasked to do...and middle America now believes it may get a reprieve on foreclosure of its mortgage and the credit markets are starting to convince themselves a September rate cut is a foregone conclusion.

  • Buffett, BofA, Countrywide: One Person's Opinion Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 12:13 PM ET
    Countrywide

    An excellent source, Janet Tavakoli, who knows more about the credit markets and asset-backed securities than I ever ever want to, sent me the following note over the holiday weekend. I consider it worth sharing, despite its conclusion, with which some may disagree. Not my place to take a side, but I do think, on the blog, opinions, especially from someone of her caliber, are worth sharing...

  • Bernanke: Fed Ready to Act If Needed Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 11:14 AM ET
  • Bernanke Speech: He's Ready To Act? Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 11:12 AM ET
    Ben Bernanke

    Though Ben Bernanke did not come out with a billboard and say he was cutting rates, there was ample indication that he stood ready to act: "It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve--nor would it be appropriate--to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions...

  • A History of Recessions Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 11:09 AM ET

    Economics is known as an imprecise science and one might need look no further than the business of calling recessions to see that. Unlike the weather, recessions arrive before you know it and depart under the same circumstances.

  • Ben Bernanke's Speech to the Kansas City Fed Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 11:08 AM ET

    "It is not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve--nor would it be appropriate--to protect lenders and investors from the consequences of their financial decisions. But developments in financial markets can have broad economic effects felt by many outside the markets, and the Federal Reserve must take those effects into account when determining policy."

  • Bernanke: Fed Will Act If Needed But No Bailout Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 11:06 AM ET
    Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke delivers the board's Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee in Washington Wednesday, July 19, 2006. "The recent rise in inflation is of concern," and possible increases in the prices of oil as well as other raw materials "remain a risk to the inflation outlook," Bernanke said. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

    The Fed will take the necessary steps to shelter the economy from turmoil in financial markets but will not bail out investors, Chairman Ben Bernanke said.

  • Investment Drop Slows Growth in Euro Zone Tuesday, 4 Sep 2007 | 7:37 AM ET

    A sharp drop in investment and government spending more than halved quarterly euro zone growth for April to June, but this is unlikely to stop further ECB interest rate rises as analysts expect the economy to pick up.