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U.S. federal reserve

Federal Reserve Approves Capital Surcharges for Nation's Largest Banks

dow jones futures

Yesterday (Monday), the U.S. Federal Reserve System approved a rule to require the nation's largest banks to hold a larger capital buffer.

These "capital surcharges" are in addition to the 7% capital requirements set forth in the Basel Accords in 2010.

There are two takeaways from this action....

What Is the Fed Funds Rate?

what is the fed funds rate

There's been a lot of talk of when - and even if - the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates soon.

But the mechanism for which the Fed raises rates, the so-called "Fed funds rate," is hardly well-understood.

So, what is the Fed funds rate? And how does the Fed set interest rates? We look at that here...

The Ugly Truth Behind the Fed's Quantitative Easing

FOMC meeting minutes today

Editor's note: In this groundbreaking analysis, Shah reveals how quantitative easing - a misguided multi-trillion dollar central bank policy and the greatest financial disruptor of our time - has distorted the global economy, made many traditional investments unprofitable, and stoked wealth and income inequality. But Shah says there are steps we can take to limit some of the damage - if we act now.

The growing income and wealth gap between the rich and poor, most of whom used to be called middle class, has many fathers. But behind the scenes one primary cause emerges. It's the greatest financial disruptor of modern times: Quantitative Easing (QE).

While the jury's out on whether QE will eventually be the step-ladder that lifts us out of the lingering Great Recession, as its proponents argue, the facts demand that the verdict on QE's egregious enrichment of the rich and subjugation of everyone else is: "guilty."

And the trouble won't stop now that the United States has begun winding down its quantitative easing - the Eurozone and Japan each have massive QE programs.

Here are the facts. Policymakers and struggling middle class and poor people must take a strong stand to fight this financial plague. Here's how...

The "Unnatural Disaster" Ravaging Global Markets

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The tide is turning for crude oil prices. Following some nice recent gains and despite a dip on Tuesday, the market currently remains at just below $60 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures in New York. The recent rise in prices would seem to be just what the smaller operators in the U.S. need to avoid a sector meltdown. A few months back, when prices were pushing lows of $40 a barrel, there was widespread talk of a wave of bankruptcies coming in the oil patch. The picture is now better, given a recovery in crude prices.

The tide is turning for crude oil prices.

Following some nice recent gains and despite a dip on Tuesday, the market currently remains at just below $60 a barrel for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures in New York.

The recent rise in prices would seem to be just what the smaller operators in the U.S. need to avoid a sector meltdown.

A few months back, when prices were pushing lows of $40 a barrel, there was widespread talk of a wave of bankruptcies coming in the oil patch. The picture is now better, given a recovery in crude prices.

But there is another shoe about to fall in the ongoing fight by smaller companies to survive. Here's my take on the disaster that's brewing - and the opportunities it may bring...

The Fed FOMC Meeting Minutes Release Today

FOMC meeting minutes today

The Fed FOMC meeting minutes release today (Wednesday) was yet another in a long line of U.S. Federal Reserve communications that had financial pundits abuzz but delivered nothing new.

The Fed minutes released today - documenting the discussions of the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee three weeks ago - indicated that the Fed has progressed little on pinning down a timeline for raising the Fed funds rate from its 0% to 0.25% target.

But as usual, these Fed minutes skirted the real issues...

Proof of Federal Reserve Stock Market Manipulation

Federal Reserve stock market manipulation

The fact that the U.S. banking system is awash with $2.6 trillion in excess reserves points to nothing more than U.S. Federal Reserve stock market manipulation.

For years, the amount of reserves in the banking system was flat, at least relative to the relentless surge Bernanke's tenure brought with it. Excess reserves were at $1.5 billion in February 2006 when Ben Bernanke stepped in as chairman. Under Bernanke, it grew $2.5 trillion.

Here's why that can be nothing more than Fed stock market manipulation...

FOMC Meeting Minutes Today Another Rubber Stamp on Fed's Aimless Policy

FOMC meeting minutes today

The U.S. Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes today (Wednesday) will have one thing working in its favor.

It will be able to carry on its aimless monetary policy with impunity. The lead dissenters have all but been silenced in 2015.

And from a credibility standpoint, that's going to help the Fed. But it's only going to continue to confuse markets...

After Fed Meeting Today, Make Money in These Three Assets

FOMC meeting today

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting today (Wednesday) continued to fuel discussions about when the U.S. Federal Reserve is going to finally raise interest rates.

After all, labor market conditions have cleared up - at least by the Fed's metrics. The economy added 295,000 jobs in February, and the unemployment rate sits at an impressive 5.5%. But the other side of the Fed's dual mandate paints a grimmer picture. The U.S. is in deflation.

The real question is how to invest for deflation. Here's how...

Federal Open Market Committee Minutes Today Proved One Thing

Federal Open Market Committee

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes today did little to quell confusion over when the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.

The expectation is that the Fed will raise rates sometime in the summer. But the direction of Fed monetary policy has become more complicated than simply pegging a rate increase to what has become an arbitrary consensus estimate.

That's because there are so many potential policy directions, and Fed ambiguity makes nothing certain.

Here's how you should read today's latest round of Fed uncertainty.

FOMC Meeting Today: A Tale of Two QEs

FOMC Meeting Today

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Meeting today marks 2015's inaugural meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve's monetary policy makers.

It's only been a month since the last meeting convened. But a lot has changed. It's following big stories in the way of global central, particularly from the European Central Bank.

Here's how this QE story will play out, and why today's FOMC meeting will just be noise in a much more troubling outlook for central banking...

How Eurozone QE Works: A Guide to Draghi's News

How eurozone QE works

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced a quantitative easing program today (Wednesday), leaving many to wonder how Eurozone QE works.

Through Eurozone QE, the ECB will purchase 60 billion euros a month, through a combination of asset and sovereign government bond purchases.

Here's how QE works, and how it will play out in the Eurozone...

Ignore Today's FOMC Minutes; Here's What the Fed Will Actually Do in 2015

FOMC minutes

Put the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes released today (Wednesday) in the back of your mind.

The prospects for the 2015 stock market raise a lot of questions. The FOMC minutes provide no answers.

Ignore the FOMC minutes. Here are three potential forecasts for the Fed in 2015...

The Brave New World of Central Bank Tyranny

central bank

Thanks to U.S. Federal Reserve policies that are holding market rates down near zero, you're barely getting one one-hundredth of a percentage point on your cash deposits.

It's bad enough that you're getting practically no yield on your savings. But now the big banks - those greedy fellows that we taxpayers bailed out from a crisis they actually caused - are about to start charging you to deposit money with them. All thanks to policies enforced by the central bankers.

Welcome to the brave new world of central bank tyranny...

Why QE Doesn't Work

why QE doen't work

Quantitative easing doesn't work.

And that can be a tough pill to swallow. Especially for the world's central bankers who are only more aggressively employing QE strategies to bring an end to their economic woes.

Here's why they're doing it anyway, and why it won't bear fruit...

Why the U.S. Treasury Market Is No Longer Safe

US Treasury market

The U.S. Treasury market is worth more than $12 trillion. It's believed to be the safest market in the world. Whenever there's a panic and the markets freak out, investors dump stocks and buy Treasuries. That's the so-called "flight to quality."

However, back on Oct. 15, when the last flight to quality exploded, the U.S. Treasury market failed to do what it had always done.

It failed to be safe - and nobody's talking about it...

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