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WASHINGTON, DC. Thursday, March 1, 2012
Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke told House lawmakers Wednesday that the Fed plans to hold U.S. interest rates at the current rate until late 2014. Thursday, he presents his semi-annual monetary policy testimony to Senate members.
Today, Chairman Bernanke's testimony is again indicating that recent signs of strength in the U.S. economy will not change the Fed’s view that “exceptionally low” interest rates are likely to be warranted at least to the end of 2014. He has also refrained from saying that additional policy easing is under consideration.
On Wednesday, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) opened the hearing by steering the conversation to U.S. interest rates and entitlement reform. Rep. Bachus also praised Bernanke’s tenure as Fed Chairman and pointed to continuing job growth.
Co-chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) criticized Republicans on deficit reduction without tax increases. Rep. Frank also said that he "welcome(s) the debate on dual mandates for Federal Reserve."
The Federal Reserve reports to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee twice a year on the conduct of monetary policy and the state of the U.S. economy. This is Chairman Bernanke’s second appearance this year.