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Obama, Congress focus on unemployment benefits
Obama, Congress focus on unemployment benefits Katherine Hackett, an unemployed Connecticut woman who introduced Obama, called the benefits “absolutely essential” to covering her necessities, such as her mortgage and health care, as she looked for work. She said she's cut expenses and “is not just 

Mel Watt becomes new chief overseeing Fannie, Freddie
Eulada Watt looks on in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House, January 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT) Watt, 68, said in a statement he was “honored” to lead the little known, but very

Mortgage Interest Rates

Understanding how mortgage interest rates are quoted

Why the Fed matters

Let's start with a little bit of history. Congress established the Federal Reserve more than a century ago to build a more stable and secure financial system. Prior to the creation of the central bank, the U.S. economy was plagued by frequent panics, bank runs and failures, which often led to a drying up of credit availability. One of the more severe episodes occurred in 1907 and nearly took down the whole economy, until one banker, J.P. Morgan, personally intervened and wrangled his rich friends to arrange emergency loans for financial institutions. This episode fueled a reform movement, which prompted Congress to establish the Federal Reserve System in 1913.

However, it was not until after the Great Depression that the policy making arm of the Fed was created. Through the Banking Act of 1935, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) was tasked with creating policies that influence the availability and cost of money and credit with a basic objective: to promote a healthy economy. In the late 1970s, Congress laid out two explicit policy goals that the Fed should pursue: price stability (meaning low and stable inflation) and adequate economic growth to foster maximum sustainable employment. Together, these goals are referred to as the Fed's "dual mandate.

Hundreds of business leaders call on Trump to stick with NAFTA

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of business leaders from all 50 states have joined forces to increase pressure on President Donald Trump to remain in NAFTA.

In a letter signed by more than 310 state and local chambers of commerce, the business leaders urged Trump to update and improve, but not end, the 23-year-old trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada that, the leaders say, has contributed to $1.2 trillion annually in trade.

“We recognize that this agreement is a quarter century old. It makes sense to modernize it,” said Glenn Hamer, president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. “But for the love of God don’t do any harm to something that has been so economically beneficial to states all across America.”

As negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico prepare to kick off a fourth round of talks on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., a feud broke out last week between Trump and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the size of the stakes came into sharp focus.