Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said on Thursday that small US banks are likely to fail in the months ahead as the housing slump takes its toll. Bernanke also warned that the US is currently facing a more difficult situation than in the aftermath of the dotcom bust in 2001.
Nine of Federal Reserve directors thought continued deterioration in financial markets and weakened economic conditions in the housing and labor markets needed the half percentage point cut to the discount rate last month.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Monday any United States resistance to sovereign wealth funds investing in the world's largest economy would be counter-productive.
The US Federal Reserve has slashed its growth forecast for the US economy and raised its forecast for unemployment. The Fed cut its growth forecast for this year by half a percent to a new range of between 1.3% and 2%. The US central bank also said the jobless rate could be as high as 5.3% by the end of the year.
The United States Department of Agriculture on Sunday ordered the recall of approximately 64.000 tons of beef from a Southern California slaughterhouse that is the subject of an animal-abuse investigation.
Identity theft for the seventh year in a row topped in 2007 the list of consumer fraud complaints recorded by the United States Federal Trade Commission, FTC. The list contained in the publication Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Complaint Data January-December 2007, showed that of 813,899 total complaints received in 2007, 258,427, or 32% were related to identity theft.
United States Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke told Congress on Thursday that the US economic outlook had deteriorated but pointed out that the Fed will act in a timely manner.
The US trade deficit narrowed in 2007 after five years of consecutive records, pushed by exports that helped offset the country's large growth in oil imports and trade gap with China. The deficit reached 711.6 billion US dollars in 2007, down from 758.5 billion in 2006, a 6.2% decline the Commerce Department said.
President George Bush said the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong, but admitted the country is going through a period of economic uncertainty. However Bush underlined that the 152 billion US dollars stimulus package he will sign into law Wednesday will provide a much needed boost.
Fears of a global slowdown triggered by US housing market problems wiped 5.2 trillion US dollars off global stock markets in January, analysts estimate. According to ratings firm Standard and Poor's, 50 out of 52 share indexes around the world ended the month lower. (5.2 trillion is equivalent to two GDP of France).