Federal Reserve

Financial Independence

Financial Independence

While many were enjoying an extended break last week, there was good news and bad news on the financial independence front. For the economy, independence from a Federal Reserve rate cut proved to be the right course of action, at least for now.

Inside the Fed’s Head

Inside the Fed’s Head

Amid renewed Presidential criticism and evidence of a slowing economy, Fed officials will convene a two-day policy meeting this week and the pressure is on. As always, central bankers have to balance maintaining a strong enough economy to foster job growth, but it can’t run too hot, which might trigger inflation. Right now, there’s a battle brewing inside the collective Fed’s Head between action and inaction.

Meh May Jobs Report and the Powell Put

Meh May Jobs Report and the Powell Put

Stocks reversed multi-week losses and you can thank Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. The week began with hand wringing over the potential Mexican tariffs. On Tuesday, Powell announced that the central bank was keeping an eye on trade developments, their impact on the U.S. economy, and would “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”

Solid Jobs Report Justifies Powell’s Case

Solid Jobs Report Justifies Powell’s Case

The government reported that the economy added a better than expected 263,000 jobs in April. It was the 103rd straight month of job growth, the longest streak on record. Nearly ten years into the expansion, job creation is 205,000 for the first four months of 2019, just above the monthly amount added since the labor market bottomed out in 2010.

Shutdown V3.0 Ushers in NASDAQ Bear

Shutdown V3.0 Ushers in NASDAQ Bear

Welcome to the third government shutdown of 2018! Did you forget about the first two? In January, there was a three-day closure, and then in February, there was the one-day sequel. In both of those instances, investors shrugged off the news and stocks actually edged up during those days-long shutdowns.

CBS This Morning: How Does the Rate Hike Impact You?

Short-term interest rates are higher after the Fed raised rates Wednesday by a quarter point, to a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. It's the fourth rise this year and the highest level since 2008. The Dow closed down almost 352 points after the announcement, the lowest close of the year. How does the rate rise impact Americans? I discussed on CBS This Morning.

Have a money question? Email me here.

Wage Gains are Coming

Wage Gains are Coming

The U.S. economy is experiencing “a particularly bright moment,” according to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, which is why Fed officials increased interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point to a new range of 2 to 2.25 percent and are likely to hike one more time by the end of the year. The strength is likely to persist into next year. According to the central bank’s “dot plot,” which is intended to forecast future actions, there will be four rate hikes by the end of 2019.

CBS This Morning: How Does the Latest Rate Hike Impact You?

The Federal Reserve says a "resilient economy" is one reason why it's raising a key interest rate for the second time this year. The central bank increased the short-term rate a quarter point to a range of 1.75 to 2 percent. The Fed also predicts four rate hikes this year after an earlier forecast of three. I joined CBS This Morning to discuss what this means for you.

Have a money question? Email me here.

Fed in Focus

Fed in Focus

After stock markets powered forward (NASDAQ and Russell 2000 hit new all-time highs) and contentious trade talk continued, this week, the focus turns to the Federal Reserve. For the second time this year, policy makers are expected to raise short-term interest rates by a quarter of a percent to a new range of 1.75 to 2 percent. If so, it would be the sixth quarter-point bump since the current rate tightening cycle started in December 2015.