Is there any doubt we will continue on a path of stimulus, resulting in higher commodity prices?
''Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy's sluggish growth and high unemployment, are moving closer to taking new steps to spur activity and hiring.
Federal Reserve officials, impatient with the economy's disappointing performance, are moving closer to taking new actions to spur growth and employment if they don't see evidence soon that activity is picking up on its own. Jon Hilsenrath has details on The News Hub.
Since their June policy meeting, officials have made clear -- in interviews, speeches and testimony to Congress -- that they find the current state of the economy unacceptable. Many officials appear increasingly inclined to move unless they see evidence soon that activity is picking up on its own.
Amid the recent wave of disappointing economic news, conversation inside the Fed has turned more intensely toward the questions of how and when to move. Central bank officials could take new steps at their meeting next week, July 31 and Aug. 1, though they might wait until their September meeting to accumulate more information on the pace of growth and job gains before deciding whether to act.
Stocks Pare Losses on News
Stocks are bouncing off session lows in the final trading hour on the news that Fed officials are moving closer to taking new actions if the labor market and economic growth don't pick up soon.
Fed officials could take some actions in combination or one after another. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in testimony to Congress last week, listed several options under consideration, including a new program of buying mortgage-backed or Treasury securities, new commitments to keep short-term interest rates near zero beyond 2014 or an effort to push already-low benchmark short-term interest rates even lower.
Determined to keep trying to get the economy going without causing inflation, the Fed is exploring other novel measures. One idea mentioned by Mr. Bernanke in his testimony would be to use a facility the Fed calls its discount window to provide cheap credit directly to banks that make new business or consumer loans.''