Federal Reserve Expects to Keep Interest Rates Low Through Mid-2015

By SUSANNA KIM (@skimm) Sept. 13, 2012 - The Federal Reserve announced its highly-anticipated quantitative easing, or its so-called QE3, purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month in another effort to stimulate the struggling economy.

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Fed Policy ‘Turned Financial Markets Into a Casino’: David Stockman Says ‘No’ to QE3

By Bernice Napach | Daily Ticker – Thu, Sep 13, 2012 7:11 AM EDT Hours from now the Fed will issue its long awaited decision on monetary policy. The big question for the financial markets: Will Fed officials decide in favor of a third round of quantitative easing, buying long-term government securities in order to reduce long-term rates to boost growth? Or will the Fed do something else entirely, or nothing at all?

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Sub-prime lending: Here we go again!

approvedThe great free weekly tabloid The Long Island Press can be picked up at supermarkets and other retailers. On page 5 of the July 14, 2010 issue sits the following innocuous (ie: innocent looking) quarter-page ad:


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Just one of the PIIGS

pig clip artYears ago, someone assigned a name to the countries whose prospects looked especially bright and to which investors should turn their attention. Brazil, Russia, India, and China, collectively became known as the "BRIC" countries.
Not to be outdone, someone with a little too much time on his (or her) hands came up with an acronym for those European countries which are in financial trouble. The acronym: PIIGS. The countries? Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain.


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Is anyone flying the plane?

Courtesy commons.wikimedia.orgThe Speaker of the House of Representatives is a powerful position, third in line to the Presidency, scholars like to remind us. The current Speaker is Nancy Pelosi of the 8th District of California. She is credited with gathering the votes needed for the House to pass the Senate's version of the Healthcare Bill, which occurred on Sunday night, March 21, 2010. This paves the way for the President to sign it into law.

While much has been made of the way the Democratic leadership rushed the bill through using strong-arm tactics and questionable parliamentary procedures, not enough has been shed on the person doing the rushing, Speaker Pelosi.


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No way: Toyota and company risk

Toyota LogoThere are so many ways to lose money investing that if you stick around long enough, you may experience many of them. Losses are more frustrating when they come out of nowhere. A recent example is the Toyota saga. During the bad old days of the 1970s, manufacturers such as Toyota and Honda began to offer really small, but fuel efficient and reliable cars here in the U.S. To a nation stunned by oil shocks that sent the price of gas through the roof and caused rationing (eg: if your license plate ends in an odd number, you buy gas on an odd-numbered day of the month), these cars were the perfect antidote.

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The credit rating agencies: Not making the grade

Three of the key actors in the tragic play that was the economic meltdown are the major credit rating agencies: Moody's, Standard & Poors, and Fitch. First, we should establish that these organizations, despite being referred to as "agencies", are not part of the government.

To appreciate the important role they play in the financial ecosystem, we must introduce a few other actors. Among the largest investors are "institutions". These organizations have enormous sums of money to invest. A prime example is a state's pension fund, an organization that manages a pile of money (which may be $100 billion or more) to pay the state's employees when they retire. 

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