Federal Reserve holding off on new action... for now

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during the 2012 Economic Policy Conference of the National Association for Business Economics March 26, 2012 in Arlington, Va.

David Brancaccio: In theory, the Federal Reserve gets some of the best data and advice in the country on the direction of the U.S. and global economies -- which is why When Fed Chairman Bernanke speaks his every syllable is parsed with precision. The Fed has ended its two-day meeting and the conclusion is the economy isn't bad enough to take new action now.

Marketplace's Nancy Marshall-Genzer reports.


Nancy Marshall-Genzer: The Fed is just fine tuning the economy at this point. It boosted its forecast for growth this year a bit, and lowered its predictions for next year slightly -- by a tenth of a percent. The Fed says inflation is in check; it expects to keep interest rates low until the end of 2014. But lower interest rates can only do so much to spur lending.

Len Blum is a managing partner with Westwood Capital.

Len Blum: Getting banks to lend, and lend at reasonable rates to small businesses and consumers -- Bernanke hasn't been able to do.

The Fed has been urging Congress and the White House to work on policies to stabilize the housing market.

Karen Petrou is a managing partner with Federal Financial Analytics.

Karen Petrou: It's stepped outside the marble halls of the central bank and tried to get somebody to do something about housing.

She says the Fed has put its credibility on the line in a way she's never seen before, going beyond just setting interest rates and onto the tricky terrain of policy.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall-Genzer for Marketplace.

 

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...