News Roundups

Will the Coronavirus turn out green, Fed pledges to keep interest rates near zero, and more

Daily stimulus and recovery news headlines from September 17, 2020.

Fed pledges to keep interest rates near zero for years

The Federal Reserve committed Wednesday to do more to help the US economic recovery, promising more asset purchases and lower interest rates for even longer than it previously expected.

The Federal funds rate remained unchanged at zero to a quarter percentage point, and will stay there until America's labor market has recovered "consistent with the Committee's assessments of maximum employment" and the inflation rate has risen to 2%, and is on track to exceed that level for some time.

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Covid-19 Oil Stockpiles to Weigh on Market Beyond End of 2021

Surplus stockpiles of crude and refined products built up around the world during the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic still won’t be cleared by the end of next year, even if the OPEC+ countries stick rigorously to their output curbs. That’s the conclusion from the latest monthly reports from two of the world’s three big oil forecasting agencies.

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Fed Pledges Low Rates for Years, and Until Inflation Picks Up

Federal Reserve officials expect to leave interest rates near zero for years — through at least 2023 — as they try to coax the economy back to full strength after the pandemic-induced recession, based on their September policy statement and economic projections released Wednesday.

The Fed, in a significant update to its official policy statement, also reinforced its August pledge to tolerate slightly higher price gains to offset periods of weak inflation, underscoring that its chairman, Jerome H. Powell, and his colleagues plan to be extraordinarily patient as they try to cushion the economy in the months and years ahead.

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Opinion: Will the Coronavirus Turn Out Green or Brown?

Covid-19 has been simultaneously good and bad for humanity’s struggle to limit global warming. So far, it’s hard to say what the net balance will be. But the European Union could tilt it positive, if it so chooses.

On the good side of the ledger, global emissions of greenhouse gases plummeted during the lockdowns. On the bad side, they’re already heading back up to pre-corona levels. This year’s dip will make us no more likely to achieve our goals for slowing climate change.

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