Fed Lowers Key Interest Rate For First Time Since Great Recession

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The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve announced the first rate cut to its key interest rate range since the Great Recession ushered in a series of rate cuts described as "quantitative easing." The Fed committee confirmed a quarter-point cut to 2.00 to 2.25 percent. Fed Chair Jerome Powell described the rate cut as a "mid-cycle adjustment" intended as a one-time boost for the economy. Mr. Powell said he did not view the cut as the first in a series of quantitative easing moves, but analysts said single rate cuts are not common. The FOMC post-meeting statement said…
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Fed Meeting Minutes Show Hope In Economic Growth

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The minutes of the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee meeting held October 29 and 30 were released Wednesday. The meeting began with a report from the Manager of the System Open Market Account and included updates on developments within domestic and foreign financial markets. According to the report, no intervention by the Federal Reserve was required on foreign currencies during the period between the last and current FOMC meetings. FOMC: Key Data Delayed by Shutdown The FOMC noted moderate economic growth in the period since its last meeting, but also noted that several federal agencies delayed release of key…
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Fed Meeting Minutes Expose Mortgage Rates As Remaining Historically Low

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The Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve decided not to reduce the Fed's current quantitative easing program of purchasing $85 billion monthly in Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities. Going against wide expectations that the Fed would reduce the QE purchases, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that current economic conditions aren't strong enough to warrant tapering. The Federal Reserve May Reduce Monthly Securities Purchases The FOMC, which sets monetary policy for the Federal Reserve has hinted that it might soon reduce the monthly securities purchases, but has also stated that it would closely review emerging economic news and conditions…
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Fed Meeting Minutes Reflect Support For Reducing QE Program

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The minutes of last month's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting show significant support for tapering the Fed's current amount of monthly securities purchases. These purchases, known as quantitative easing (QE), are an effort to maintain lower long-term interest rates including mortgage rates. The Fed has been buying $85 billion per month in Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve and FOMC has hinted at "tapering" the Fed's securities purchases by year-end in recent statements. The FOMC minutes released Wednesday further suggest that tapering based on strengthening economic trends is likely. FOMC Members Express…
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Fed Meeting Statement Positive For Ongoing Mortgage Sector Support

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There was potentially good news for mortgage rates on Wednesday as the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced that its quantitative easing (QE) program would remain unchanged for the present. Economists expect the Fed to begin tapering the amount of QE toward the end of the year in accordance with Chairman Ben Bernanke's previous statements that "tapering" would likely begin near year-end. No specific date for reducing the QE assets purchases was given. Chairman Bernanke has previously indicated that the Fed will closely review domestic and global economic developments as part of its decision-making process for changing the QE…
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FOMC Minutes Reveal Fed May Curb Economic Support Program Before Year End

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FOMC Minutes Suggest QE Tapering by Year-End The minutes for June's meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) suggest that committee members are mostly in agreement that the current quantitative easing program (QE) should begin winding down by year end, but the committee minutes are very clear concerning the committee's intention to monitor inflation and ongoing economic and financial developments before taking action to reduce the current rate of QE. The Fed currently purchases $85 billion monthly in Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Investors fear that if the Fed rolls back QE too soon or too fast, it…
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The Federal Open Market Committee Holds Steady With Mortgage Backed Security Investments

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The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve decided to continue its current policy of quantitative easing (QE) based on current economic conditions. The Fed currently purchases $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and $45 billion in Treasury securities monthly. Objectives for the QE program include: Keeping long term interest rates, including mortgage rates, low Supporting mortgage markets Easing broader financial conditions FOMC repeated its position of evaluating QE policy based on inflation, the unemployment rate and economic developments. Members of the FOMC determined that keeping the federal funds rate between 0.00 and 0.25 percent until the following…
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Fed Meeting Minutes Expose Rising Interest Rate Risk

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Minutes of the April/May Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) recently released may have a significant impact on mortgage rates going forward.  One significant development from the meeting suggests that the present quantitative easing (QE)  program may be modified in the near future.  The current QE program involves the Fed purchasing $85 billion per month in mortgage backed securities (MBS) and Treasury bonds. The Fed's goal with QE is keeping long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, low. Considerations mentioned in favor of slowing the current QE program include concerns over “buoyant” financial markets as evidence of a developing economic “bubble”. FOMC…
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Fed Meeting Statement Points To Continuing Low Interest Rates

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Wednesday's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement indicates the Federal Reserve's commitment to keeping long term interest rates and inflation under control. The Fed will continue monitoring inflation, but does not expect inflation to rise more than 0.50 percent above its target rate of 2.00 percent over the next one to two years. Ongoing monitoring of inflation and unemployment, as well as developing economic news, will guide the Fed in its future determinations concerning policy for its present iteration of quantitative easing (QE3). Currently, the Fed purchases $85 billion of treasury securities and mortgage –backed securities each month with the…
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Fed Meeting Minutes Reveal Rising Wealth Among Homeowners

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The minutes for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting held March 19 and 20 were released on Wednesday April 10, 2013. These periodic meetings by the FOMC cover a wide ranging group of topics that impact the overall economy in the United States. The decisions made and acted upon from the FOMC meetings often sway the real estate and residential financing markets. Some highlights of the recent FOMC minutes for the March meeting include: Jobs and Unemployment Gaining Steam The unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in February. While lower than the average unemployment rate for Q4 2012, the…
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