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US Federal Reserve to continue with QE2 plan

The Federal Reserve is set to continue with the second round of its quantitative easing programme as it is not convinced by the signs of improvement in the US economy.

According to the Fed minutes from December 14, 2010, the Fed did acknowledge the improving outlook but said the $600bn programme would continue with “the pace and size of the overall purchase programme” being dependant on the strength of the recovery.

The notes state that: “Some members indicated that they had a fairly high threshold for making changes to the programme,”

“While the economic outlook was seen as improving, members generally felt that the change in outlook was not sufficient to warrant any adjustments.”

The Fed has highlighted the 10 per cent unemployment as a particular concern, as well as the housing market and consumer spending in poorer households.

The notes said: “There were indications that retail spending by middle and lower-income households had risen less than spending by high-income households, suggestive of ongoing financial pressures on those of more modest means.”



FSA analysis fails to value role of advisers

The FSA’s cost-benefit analysis of the RDR is “dubious” as it does not measure the detriment caused by a decline in advice, according to Lansons public affairs and regulatory consulting director Richard Hobbs. FSA chief executive Hector Sants wrote to the Treasury select committee in December, outlining the regulator’s rationale for the RDR. Sants cites […]

NatWest launches new 90% LTV mortgage

NatWest Intermediary Solutions is launching a new 90 per cent loan-to-value mortgage and is reducing the rates on a number of its other products by up to 0.8 per cent . The 90 per cent LTV deal is available at 6.19 per cent. The lender is also launching a five-year fixed at 60 per cent […]

Nigel Stockton to become Countrywide financial services chief

Countrywide financial services development director Nigel Stockton will takeover the group’s mortgage and insurance services division following the retirement of Countrywide Principal Services managing director Alan Snowball. Stockton, who joined Countrywide from Lloyds Banking Group in October, will take up the new role of financial services director, subject to FSA approval. Snowball joined Countrywide in […]

Mark Page: why my biggest overweight stock is a discount Spanish retailer

Artemis European Opportunities Fund manager Mark Page is questioned about the merits of investing in Spanish supermarket group, Dia. Dia is a 7,000-store Spanish discount supermarket chain. But with cheaper food prices coming on to the market and an improving Spanish economy, journalist Alexis Xydias questions Mark about its inclusion in the Artemis European Opportunities […]


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