Business, Economics and Jobs

Macro chatter: The Fed as the Seven Samurai on fed day


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, October 4, 2011. Bernanke on Tuesday said the United States may face yet more slow jobs growth, as he warned short-term budget cuts and financial turmoil could further threaten the economy.



Need to know: 

Later today, the US Federal Reserve board will reveal whether it's going to twist, stand or do something else to boost what's been a painfully slow recovery in the world's largest economy.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will take to live video to tell the world all about what the US monetary policy brain trust is thinking. But for now, the Financial Times is betting the Federal Reserve will do something to ease policy. 

That something could be Operation Twist, according to the latest Wall Street Journal Poll.

Economists surveyed by the paper think there's a 44 percent chance the Fed will embark on the plan which is one of its least controversial approaches to increasing the availability of credit 

Economists put the likelihood the Fed will swap shorter-dated securities for longer-dated ones at 44%.

Want to know: 

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke may hint at what the Fed is thinking in his press conference today, but he probably won't do it Seven Samurai style. Thankfully, Reuters' Mark Felsenthal already has

Meet, the Fed as the Seven Samurai



Dull but true: 

Something could actually come out of this week's G20 meeting on the beach in Los Cabos, Mexico: the framework for a European banking union. 

European leaders at the summit have vowed to begin better integrating their banking systems, Dow Jones Newswires reported. The move is aimed at stemming the continent's seemingly neverending debt crisis. 

Officials said the plan will include regional deposit guarantees and share the cost of recapitalizing failing banks among euro zone members. 

Just because: 

There is one place in the world where BlackBerry is beating its keyboardless, touch screen competitors: South Africa. 

Nearly half of all smartphones in South Africa are BlackBerrys, one market researcher told my colleague Erin Conway-Smith

South African teenagers have named Research in Motions Blackberry the coolest brand in the country for the second consecutive year. Apple's rockstar iPhone didn't make the list. 

Teens are fueling BlackBerry's dominance over the iPhone in South Africa, but they aren't just being motivated by cool. They're also thinking about price. 

A low-end BlackBerry is one of the cheapest smartphone options in South Africa and flat-rate data plans for the device can be had for about $7 a month.

Strange but true: 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. gets $14 billion a year in government subsidies, Bloomberg reported

That money helps to pay big salaries and bonuses for JP Morgan executives and has helped to fuel the subprime-lending and sovereign-debt problems around the world, the news agency said. 

But it isn't enough to keep CEO Jamie Dimon's name rolling off the tongues of Capital Hill lawmakers. 

The payments don't fit Dimon's stay outta my business arguments so well either.