The Federal Open Market Committee, the policy-making arm of the Federal Reserve, on Wednesday announced that it would keep its benchmark interest rate target at near zero until the unemployment rate fell to 6.5 percent or the annual inflation rate rose to 2.5 percent, the first time the central bank has set such specific targets. In addition, the Fed said it would continue purchasing $85 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities and Treasury bonds in 2013, another measure designed to ease borrowing and boost economic growth. Analysts say the move reflects a fundamental shift in the Fed's approach toward monetary policy, with a heightened focus on encouraging employment, rather than concentrating on keeping a lid on inflation.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 10 things you need to know today: October 24, 2014
- America's anti-feminist mega-corporations' toxic disregard for women must stop
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Keira Knightley on Laggies, relationships, and surviving your 20s
- 10 self-sabotaging interview mistakes to avoid
Subscribe to the Week