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By New York Times News Service | December 4, 1994
Higher interest rates are providing a windfall to the holders of prime-rate mutual funds, whose yields are surging even as net asset values are held steady.The broker-sold funds strive to yield approximately the prime rate, yet maintain a stable net asset value -- in effect, to be supercharged money market funds, although with higher risks and costs and much less liquidity."This is a great investment for some kinds of people," said Colin Mathews, an analyst for Morningstar Inc. in Chicago.
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BUSINESS
By Don Lee and Don Lee,Tribune Newspapers | January 28, 2010
WASHINGTON - -Amid the political rancor over Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke's bid for a second term, central bank officials encountered some dissension in their first policy-setting meeting of the year, even as they affirmed their pledge to keep interest rates at near-zero for "an extended period." For the first time in a year, the Fed's monetary policy committee's statement, issued at the conclusion of its two-day meeting Wednesday, came with a dissenting vote. Thomas M. Hoenig, president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City, voted against the policy action, indicating that economic and financial conditions had improved enough that the statement to maintain the benchmark short-term rate for an extended period was unwarranted.
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BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | December 21, 1995
Scores of banks across the country yesterday lowered the prime lending rate a quarter of a point, following the Federal Reserve's move on Tuesday to cut short-term interest rates.First Maryland Bancorp, Provident Bankshares Corp., NationsBank Corp. and Signet Banking Corp. were among area banks to trim the prime rate to 8.5 percent from 8.75 percent.The prime rate is a benchmark that banks use to set interest rates on business and some consumer loans. Its reduction could mean lower interest rates for business and consumer loans, including auto loans and some credit cards, said Christine Chmura, chief economist with Richmond-based Crestar Bank.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins and Jamie Smith Hopkins,jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com | August 21, 2009
One in eight Maryland borrowers were behind on their mortgages this spring, a new report shows, a record caused by job losses and foreclosures feeding on each other in a vicious cycle. That adds up to about 132,000 homeowners who were at least 30 days late, according to a survey released Thursday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. That's up nearly 60 percent from a year ago and includes people whose lenders were trying to foreclose as of June. The country fell into recession after homeowners with risky "subprime" loans began defaulting in large numbers two years ago, sending financial institutions into a tailspin.
BUSINESS
By Ian Johnson and Ian Johnson,New York Bureau | October 19, 1993
NEW YORK -- A leading bank cut its prime lending rate yesterday to the lowest rate in 21 years, a move that could spur other banks to cut their rates and make borrowing cheaper for consumers and businesses.Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. said it cut its prime lending rate -- the rate for its best customers -- to 5.5 percent from 6 percent. Harris Trust and Savings Bank, a large regional bank in Chicago, immediately followed suit.The move came a month after two regional banks announced similar cuts and could signal that the nation's top banks are ready to lower interest rates.
NEWS
By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,Evening Sun Staff | November 6, 1991
The Federal Reserve Board, trying to prod the nation's sluggish economy, today slashed its key bank lending rate from 5.0 percent to 4.5 percent, the lowest level in 18 years.But don't expect the good times to rush back.Experts say federal lending rates may already be so low that further cuts will have a negligible impact. And while several major banks today lowered their prime lending rates, such moves do not guarantee immediate drops in rates that banks charge consumers for car loans and credit cards.
BUSINESS
By Thomas Easton and Thomas Easton,New York Bureau | April 14, 1992
NEW YORK -- Chemical Banking Corp., parent of the nation's second-largest bank, reduced the rate it charges on loans to top customers yesterday to the lowest level since 1976.The bank's move was not echoed by other major lenders, blunting its potential impact on the economy.Chemical's reduction in its prime rate to 6.25 percent from 6.5 percent comes in the wake of Friday's deliberate and effective effort by the Federal Reserve to drive down the wholesale cost of funds paid by financial institutions.
BUSINESS
February 5, 1991
Major Maryland banks have lowered their prime rates from 9.5 percent to 9 percent.They include Maryland National Bank, First National Bank of Maryland, Signet Bank, Sovran Bank, the Bank of Baltimore and Provident Bank of Maryland.The prime rate, which is supposed to be the interest rate charged by banks to their best corporate customers, is an important benchmark. Banks in New York and Chicago led the move to lower the prime on Friday.Many home-equity loans and some credit card rates are directly tied to the prime rate, with the interest rates pegged at one or more points above the prime.
BUSINESS
By Ross Hetrick and Ross Hetrick,Evening Sun Staff | January 4, 1991
While most borrowers will have to wait a few months to see a benefit from the drop in the prime rate, savers have already seen interest paid on their money markets and certificate of deposits drop."
BUSINESS
By Bill Atkinson and Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF | August 20, 1996
San Francisco's Bank of America has entered Baltimore with an aggressive push to generate small business loans.Top executives of the bank said yesterday that they have begun offering business operators, who receive guarantees from the Small Business Administration, loans at the prime rate for one year, along with 100 percent financing and discounts on fees."
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com | May 29, 2009
The number of Maryland residents who face foreclosure or have missed payments on home loans rose to nearly 121,000 in the first three months of the year, with mortgage woes increasing the fastest among the less risky prime borrowers, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday. Loans that were late by at least a month, including some in the foreclosure process, accounted for 11.3 percent of the more than 1 million outstanding mortgages in Maryland at the end of March, up slightly from the fourth quarter of 2008 but an increase of 67 percent from a year earlier, the MBA said in its quarterly loan delinquency survey.
NEWS
By Eileen Ambrose and Eileen Ambrose,eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com | December 17, 2008
Federal Reserve policymakers dropped a key interest rate to the lowest level in history yesterday, but many consumers might well ask: What rate cut? The Fed action could help those with home equity lines of credit and, indirectly, give needed relief to homeowners whose adjustable-rate mortgages are poised to reset. But for many other types of consumer credit, from auto loans to credit cards, the rate cut might not translate to significant monthly savings. Many rates were low already. And at a time when lenders are more averse to risk and tightening credit standards, they probably won't pass a rate cut on to customers.
BUSINESS
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin G. Hall,McClatchy-Tribune | January 31, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Armed with new evidence indicating that U.S. economic growth virtually stalled late last year, the Federal Reserve announced yesterday another half-point cut to a key lending rate in a bid to keep the economy out of recession. The Fed reduced its benchmark federal funds rate - the overnight rate that banks charge each other - to 3 percent. In just eight days, the central bank chopped its benchmark rate by 1.25 percentage points, emphasizing its concerns that the U.S. economy is going into a near stall.
NEWS
By Eileen Ambrose and Eileen Ambrose,SUN COLUMNIST | January 23, 2008
The federal funds interest rate, the one cut yesterday by the Federal Reserve, is what banks charge one another for overnight loans to boost their cash reserves. But what does that mean for you? First, a cut in the federal funds rate typically prompts banks to immediately cut the rate they charge their most creditworthy borrowers, the prime rate. Credit cards and home equity lines of credit held by the rest of us often are pegged to the prime. But it might be some time before you see those benefits.
BUSINESS
By Kevin G. Hall and Kevin G. Hall,McClatchy-Tribune | October 30, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Wall Street expects the Federal Reserve to cut its benchmark interest rate by another quarter-point tomorrow, but some analysts question whether that's enough. The Fed surprised financial markets Sept. 18 by making a larger-than-expected half-point cut to its benchmark federal funds rate, the rate banks charge each other for overnight loans. It serves as the basis for a wide array of lending rates in the broader economy. In September, the Fed set aside its worry about emerging inflation, deciding that problems in credit markets and a deepening housing slump warranted a big chop in lending rates to spark economic activity.
NEWS
By Dan Thanh Dang and Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF | September 19, 2007
The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rates yesterday by one-half percent, a larger-than-expected reduction that gave an immediate lift to the stock market and is expected to boost an economy rattled by rising mortgage defaults and foreclosures. But don't expect the first rate cut in four years to help you instantly refinance your mortgage more easily or finance a shopping spree on plastic. Experts warned that consumers will not feel, and should not expect, a drastic change in their pockets anytime soon.
BUSINESS
By New York Times | December 9, 1991
NEW YORK -- Many analysts expect the Federal Reserve Board to follow its move last Friday easing monetary policy with additional moves in a few weeks to bring down the prime rate, now at 7.5 percent.It would put more downward pressure on long-term interest rates, including home mortgages.But after 30 months of watching the Fed push down short-term rates, investors and economists are becoming more convinced that lower rates alone cannot quickly put the economy on track.True, the Fed's rate reductions are probably preventing a more severe economic downturn.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | October 11, 1993
While the Clinton administration counts on low interest rates to revive the economy, the banking industry is coming to a different conclusion: The demand for loans to expand business activity is so weak that lowering the prime rate is not worth their while."
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | April 30, 2007
JERUSALEM -- On the eve of the publication of an official report on the Israeli government's failings during last summer's war against Hezbollah in Lebanon, the main topic of public debate is whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be able to hang onto power. Support for Olmert has been shaky since the war, which many Israelis consider to have been a failure. Polls show his approval ratings hovering between 2 percent and 3 percent. Yesterday, a well-informed senior official said Olmert did not intend to resign.
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