Industry News

Greenspan’s last hurrah, expected interest-rate hike today

Successor's confirmation also expected

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Today is the last meeting of the Federal Reserve under the chairmanship of Alan Greenspan, who has led the central bank for more than 18 years, and the Fed is expected to raise U.S. interest rates for a 14th straight time. Additionally, the U.S. Senate is expected to confirm former Fed Governor Ben Bernanke as the next chairman today, clearing him to take office on Wednesday. Bernanke joins the Fed at a time when the office has been raising rates consistently and the housing market appears to be normalizing or perhaps heading for a slowdown. The Federal Reserve Bank's rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee began meeting at 9 a.m. EST, an official told Reuters. A decision on interest rates is expected around 2:15 p.m., together with a statement on the U.S. central bank's analysis of economic conditions and the level of policy accommodation. After their last rate rise on Dec. 13, officials said higher borrowing costs would "likely" be needed, Reuters said, and analysts expect the Fe...