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Federal Reserve

St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank Economist Kevin Kliesen addresses the Rolla Regional Economic Commission on July 22, 2019
Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio

ROLLA — An economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis says there are some mixed signals coming from the region.

Companies are starting to get concerned, while consumers are spending money and have higher levels of confidence, business economist Kevin Kliesen told a recent gathering of the Rolla Regional Economic Commission.

It all adds up to his prediction that 2020 will see modest growth at a slower rate than the past two years.

The report on the wealth gap relies on data from the Federal Reserve Board from 1983 through 2016.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A new report focusing on the racial dimensions of inequality in America connects the richest 10 percent of households getting richer and the wealth of the median, or typical, American family declining.

The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) report also cites low levels of black and Latino wealth, combined with their growing proportion of the population, as key factors in the overall decline in median household wealth from about $84,000 in 1983 to $82,000 in 2016. Together, blacks and Latinos make up about 30 percent of the U.S. population.

dleafy | sxc.hu

The end of the year is always a time to take stock of what has transpired during the past year and what is likely to happen in the one about to begin.  Let’s do so by considering several key economic measures.

Economic expansion limped along for another year.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP), adjusted for inflation, is the best measure of the economy’s total output. It increased this year, but not nearly as fast as many would hope, especially three years out form the end of the Great Recession.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 25, 2013: Looking at stock prices over the past few months, May 22 stands out. That was the first time Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke “rocked” the markets with his comment that maybe the Fed would reconsider the magnitude and duration of its current buying scheme.

Update at 12:31 p.m. ET. Federal Reserve Announces QE3:

The Federal Reserve announced it would spend $40 billion a month on bond purchases in an effort to stimulate the economy and drive the the unemployment rate down.

The Wall Street Journal says that unlike the first two rounds of Quantitative Easing, this time the Fed will focus solely on buying mortgage-backed securities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 7, 2012 - The May jobs report did little to dispel the notion that the U.S. economy is in a holding pattern of tepid economic growth. The unemployment rate is a percentage point lower than a year ago, but continued decline is less certain. With Europe in its own malaise and China showing signs of slowing, calls for more expansive policy action are being sounded.

Ron Paul, Lacy Clay square off on future of the Fed

May 8, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 8, 2012 - WASHINGTON – Interrupting his quixotic quest for the GOP presidential nomination, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul made a rare appearance Tuesday on Capitol Hill to bash the Federal Reserve and discuss alternatives.

“Over these many decades, the Federal Reserve has gotten a free pass," alleged Paul, R-Texas, at a subcommittee hearing he chaired. He took issue with those who contend that the Fed “should not be interfered with by the executive branch or the legislative branch.”

The St. Louis Federal Reserve is part of a central bank system that includes 12 regional reserve banks and a board in Washington, D.C.
ChrisYunker | via Flickr

The latest report by the Federal Reserve finds that there was slow to moderate growth in all the Federal Reserve districts, except St. Louis.

What’s known as the Beige Book, or a summary of current economic conditions, is published by the United States Federal Reserve Board eight times a year.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 24, 2011 - Citing gaps in Midwest BankCentre's lending to low- and moderate-income borrowers, federal regulators have given the St. Louis institution an overall "needs to improve" rating in its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) performance evaluation that was made public this week.

The bank scored a "low satisfactory" rating in two of three areas of its fair lending review -- the investment test and the service test -- and a "needs to improve" in the lending test, which is weighted more heavily by regulators. The full report is available on the Federal Reserve's website.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 12, 2009 - One year after the U.S. economy started its messy slide down the melting financial mountainside, some economists believe the bottom is in sight.

On Wednesday, for example, economists at the Federal Reserve offered this glimmer of hope that the U.S. recession is nearing an end: All but one of its 12 regions described recent economic activity as "stable," showing "signs of stabilization" or "firmed." The exception, by the way, was the St. Louis district, which offered a more cautious viewpoint: Economic activity remains weak here, but the pace of decline is "moderating."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 25, 2008 - The real effect of Tuesday's announcement that the Federal Reserve would buy up to $600 billion in mortgages and mortgage-backed securities is not yet clear for troubled homeowners facing foreclosure, say two local nonprofit housing counselors.

"It could be a breakthrough for homeowners. Right now, loans residing in investor-owned securities are very difficult to modify; servicers are hamstrung by the regulations governing each bundle. If the Fed buys entire trunks of loans, it would have the power to change these stipulations, and that would finally allow for individual modifications," said Karen Wallensak of Catholic Charities.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 19, 2008 - They didn't pass the hat after Tuesday night's screening of the documentary "I.O.U.S.A.'' at the Missouri History Museum, but audience members did learn what their individual share of the country's nearly $60 trillion fiscal hole will be, come January: $184,000.

Commentary: The Fed's interest rate mistake

Oct 29, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 29, 2008 - The Fed's decision to again lower its federal funds rate will not prevent an economic downturn. In fact, this move will cause even greater problems when it decides to wean the economy from its cheap credit policy.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 25, 2008 - The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced on June 25 that it would hold the interest rate on banks' overnight loans at 2 percent. It also warned that inflation will get more scrutiny in future meetings. What the economists on the committee fail to comprehend is that actions really do speak louder than words.