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Economic Measures Inflation

  • Futures rebounded Tuesday after a report showed new home construction unexpectedly jumped in February.

  • The Federal Reserve has no option but to start buying Treasurys as the government's needs for financing are huge, but the government bond market is a disaster in the making, Marc Faber, editor and publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, told CNBC.

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    Federal Reserve policymakers are weighing whether to launch new programs or expand existing ones to spur lending, get Americans spending again and lift the country out of recession.

  • Thursday: Confessed mega-swindler Bernie Madoff pleaded guilty to fraud. Warren Buffett slipped from the "World's Richest Billionaire" slot. Apple flew in the face of grim retail prognostication and said it'd preview new iPhone software next week. It was reported that U.S. mortgage rates slipped last week; and Standard & Poor's downgraded General Electric* from its triple-A rating to AA-plus -- but GE's shares soared on a better-than-expected outlook. CNBC heard from experts who warned that AIG is a "boil" that "needs to be lanced" and called a market bottom — of sorts.

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    The stock market is still an unsafe place for investors as quantitative easing, by which central banks boost the supply of money attempting to kick-start economies, is unlikely to work, Hugh Hendry, Chief Investment Officer at Eclectica, told CNBC.

  • We might have strayed a bit from the rulebook on a good dinner party this morning as we sat back and watched hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry of Eclectica lock horns with Liam Halligan, the chief economist at Prosperity Capital and maverick columnist for the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

  • Tuesday: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the uptick rule will soon be reinstated but the SEC said that mark-to-market regulations would remain in place. Citigroup shares skyrocketed nearly 40 percent and many other financials followed suit — lifting the market with them. General Electric* shares enjoyed an assurance from Citi and AT&T said it'd add — yes, add — 3,000 jobs and invest up to $18 billion. CNBC heard from experts who said that investors are nearly ready to get out of cash — and gave a prescription for bear repellant.

  • Monday: Warren Buffett told CNBC the U.S. economy has "fallen off a cliff." Prof. Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the current crisis, said the U.S. recession could last up to 36 months. But some M&A activity was seen: Dow Chemical and Rohm & Haas announced a deal; and Roche and Genentech are reportedly close to their own agreement. CNBC heard from experts who said steady growth companies are the way to invest now; and that the government rescue plan is going to create the first signs of recovery.

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    Factory jobs disappeared. Inflation soared. Unemployment climbed to alarming levels. The hungry lined up at soup kitchens. It wasn't the Great Depression. It was the 1981-82 recession, widely considered America's worst since the depression.

  • The Bank of England can control the threat of inflation generated by its radical new policy of creating money, the bank's deputy governor said in a commentary published Monday.

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    Even as the economy sheds jobs at an alarming rate, there are early signs consumers are over the shock  of recession and  opening their wallets again. "There's pent up demand," says one economist. "Whether it is long lasting is another story.”

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    Even as the economy sheds jobs at an alarming rate, there are early signs consumers are getting over the shock  of recession and  opening their wallets again. "There's pent up demand," says one economist. "Whether it is long lasting is another story.”

  • The U.S. economy looks "dismal" in the short term but should return to growth by year-end as housing markets finally reach "some sort of equilibrium," said Richmond Federal Reserve Bank President Jeffrey Lacker.

  • Gold isn't the only precious metal. Cramer offers another way to protect your portfolio.

  • Tuesday: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke defended the AIG bailout, saying the alternative would've been a disaster. Treasury Secretary Tom Geithner defended the Obama Administration's plan to buttress and stimulate the U.S. economy. Auto sales plummeted; Citigroup said it'll lower some mortgage payments; and subsidiaries of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced job cuts. CNBC heard from experts who said the U.S. economy is in a depression — but the next move is an upside jump.

  • Friday: General Electric (CNBC's parent company) said it'll slash its quarterly dividend 68 percent, saving $9 billion annually. The U.S. agreed to boost its stake in Citigroup to as much as 36 percent. U.S. GDP data was sharply revised downward, with economic loss at 6.2 percent. Experts told CNBC that the market is resisting scary talk from President Obama and Fed Chairman Bernanke — but the recession's end is nowhere in sight.

  • Wednesday: As the state of financials continues to worry the markets, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. has no plans to nationalize Citigroup. Wealthy Americans are suing UBS to keep their names secret (as a $31 billion UBS order went wrong) and Congress is considering a housing bill that'd let judges erase mortgage debt. Experts told CNBC that America needs more infrastructure in the stimulus bill — and that there won't be a recovery until housing improves.

  • U.S. banking regulators announced Wednesday that the "stress test" program on banks with more than $100 billion in assets will be completed by no later than April, CNBC has learned.

  • Tuesday: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke warned the "severe" U.S. recession may drag into 2010 unless the government succeeds in stabilizing the banking system and financial markets. Debate continues on bank "nationalization," with Bank of America insisting it won't need a bigger U.S. stake; and analysts wondering if Citigroup actually needs the government to pick up more than 40 percent. Experts told CNBC that fears of nationalization are overdone — and we're now entering the epicenter of the recession.

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    The next economic bubble is on its way—if it's not already here, analysts believe. The problem is, there's no clear consensus on what it will be or when it will hit.