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Bedford Gazette Weekend (Newspaper) - November 20, 2010, Bedford, Pennsylvania
Saturday amp sunday november 20 amp 21,2010�? Bedford Gazette weekend Bedford a. 5 fed chairman on perilous ground a Washington apr Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is taking some highly unusual Steps to counter widespread opposition to his $600 billion plan to jump Start the Economy. He s pressing China to let its currency Rise and pushing Congress to pass More stimulus Aid. Yet As he veers into these political debates Bernanke May be putting at risk the fed s strongest tools a its credibility and Independence. Bernanke has been under fire since nov. 3, when the fed announced a bold plan to buy .$600 billion in Treasury Bonds. The Bond purchases Are intended to lower Long term interest rates lift Stock prices and encourage higher spending to energize the weak Economy. In rat a tat fashion critics have attacked the fed s program. They be warned that the Bond purchases will eventually ignite inflation or a wave of speculative buying on Wall Street. China Germany and other countries have labelled the Bond purchases a scheme to drive Down the Dollar and give . Exporters an unfair Price advantage. A lower Dollar makes . Products cheaper for foreign buyers. Bernanke has struck Back in unusually Blunt style for a fed chairman. In a speech at a banking conference in Frankfurt Germany he made his most forceful Case to Date that High unemployment and slow growth not inflation Are the biggest risks to the . Economy. He also accused China and other emerging nations of endangering the global Economy by keeping their own currencies artificially Low. Critics see Bernanke s ventures into congressional and global policymaking As a sign of weakness not strength. If he were confident the fed s polices were either succeeding or enjoyed support Bernanke would t feel compelled to try to sell them publicly. Quot he needs help and he does t think he s getting it quot Dan Greenhaus chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak i ote in a research report pub map photo Ben Bernanke chairman of the . Federal Reserve Board delivers his keynote speech at the sixth european Central Bank eco Central banking conference in Frankfurt Germany Friday. Listed Friday. In pressing Congress and the chinese to change policy Bernanke is barging into the political Arena taking on issues like currency valuations that Are normally handled by the Treasury Secretary a political appointee. He also risks endangering the fed s reputation for Independence. The fed needs its credibility to make unpopular decisions such As raising interest rates to fight inflation without being smeared As politically motivated. Allan Meltzer a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and author of a history of the fed argues that Bernanke has already compromised the fed s Independence. Meltzer said that happened during the 2008 financial crisis when the fed bailed out insurance giant american International group and supported Jmorgan Chase s takeover of troubled investment House Bear steams. Quot he has acted As the agent of the Treasury department quot Meltzer said. He argues that Bernanke s latest counterattack is another sign of a politicized fed. Bernanke is hardly the first fed chairman to come under fire. When Paul Volcker ran the fed in the 1980s, he Ratch eted up interest rates to Levels not seen since the civil War to bring soaring inflation under control. The fed s key interest rate Rose As High As 20 percent. Today it is near Zero. Volcker endured a barrage of attacks As the Economy slowed and unemployment climbed. Angry building contractors shipped two by fours to his office. Protesting Farmers drove tractors in front of the fed s stately Headquarters in downtown Washington. So angered by a fed rate increase president Lyndon Johnson ordered staffers to find a replacement for chairman William Mcchesney Martin. Johnson thought the fed s policies would make it too expensive to expand social programs and fight the Vietnam War. Martin refused to change course. In the end he became the longest serving fed chairman Ever. Quot the fed is criticized All the time quot Meltzer said. Quot if you Are making policy you Are going to have what s different this time is that a fed chairman has struck Back at both Congress and other countries in a highly Public manner. After being pounded by Republican lawmakers Over the Bond Pur Chase plan Bernanke a a Republican himself a shifted Obama says nato agrees to missile defense system Lisbon Portugal apr president Barack Obama announced Friday that nato has agreed to his plans for a new expanded missile defense system for Europe that would cover All nato member com tries and the United states. The . Has a missile defense system based mainly in North America and is planning one for its european allies. Quot for the first time we be agreed to develop a missile defense capability that is Strong enough to cover All nato european territory and populations As Well As the United states quot Obama said. Nato s acceptance of the missile shield plan was a Bright spot for a president who has suffered setbacks in elections at Home and in diploma regulators close Banks Washington apr regulators on Friday shut Down three Banks in Florida Pennsylvania and Wisconsin lifting the number of . Banks that have failed this year to 149 As soured Loans pile up and the Economy limps Forward. The Federal Deposit insurance corp. Took Over the Banks the largest by far being first banking Center based in Burlington wis., with $750.7 million in assets. Also seized were Gulf state Community Bank in Carra Belle fla., with $112.1 Milhon in assets and allegiance Bank of North America in Bala Cynwyd pa., with $106.6 million in assets. Florida has been the hardest hit state for Bank failures. Gulf state Community Bank was the 28th Bank to fail in Tjie state this year. Other states that have seen Large numbers of Bank failures Are California Georgia and Illi Jois amid an Avanche of bad Loans especially for commercial real estate. The 149 clo shares nationwide so far this year tops the 140 shuttered in ail of 2009 and is the most in a year since the savings and a an crisis two decades ago. By this time last year regulators had closed 123 Banks. By on the world stage in the past few weeks. On a recent swing through Asia Obama failed to sign a free Trade Deal with South Korea and could t Muster enough support from other nations for his opposition to China s handling of its currency the missile shield Obama said quot offers a role for All of our allies it responds to the threats of our times. It shows our determination to protect our citizens from the threat of ballistic quot an attack on one nato member is an attack on All quot he said. The expanded anti missile system is expected to Cost $273 million Over the next decade according to nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen who also is seeking russian cooperation on the project. Nato leaders have refused to name any potential enemy but in the past officials have publicly singled out Iran. Turkey an Alliance member with close ties to Iran has refused to allow nato to identify Iran As a threat. Obama spoke Between meetings on the Summit s opening Day and declared that quot substantial Progress quot had been made. The Summit s focus will shift saturday to the War Effort in Afghanistan. Nato Aims to begin reducing its troop presence in Afghanistan next july and put afghans in charge of their country s Security by 2014, a top Alliance official said Friday. Second baskets by Myrna november 26t i amp 27th Loam 4pm visit my studio and see Over 100 baskets displayed. All baskets Are hand up to refreshments amp door prizes located at the intersection of big Creole Road and citric Road 2 Miles South of Clearville watch for signs Myma Shaw 814.784.5327 5th Annua Christmas Craft show Friday november 26th a 8am 7pm saturday november 27th 8am 4pm285chesifiutst. New Enterprise All hand crafted items snowmen garlands hand quilted items Ginger people primitive Gandle Boes amp other primitives santas ornaments too Many items to list most under $20refreshments amp door prizes _ it. 36 to it. 869 West 1.7 Miles on Lew please enter at lower level the focus. He urged Congress to step up stimulus if lawmakers Hope to bring Relief to vast numbers of unemployed americans quot it is certainly unusual quot Meltzer said. Quot Bernanke criticizing Congress in the Way he did is Meltzer thinks Bernanke s counterpunch against China was wrongheaded. Quot the Best Way for China to do nothing with its Exchange rate is by telling them that it is something the United states wants quot Meltzer said. But Alan Blinder former fed vice chairman and professor of economics at Princeton University says Bernanke was right to quot engage the intellectual arguments quot of critics at Home and abroad. Quot i Don t think he wants to get into a shouting match with any member of Congress or the finance minister of Germany quot Blinder said. Blinder said he worries though that the political backlash might discourage the fed from taking other Steps to try to Salvage the Economy. Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana and sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee both republicans Are pushing legislation to narrow the fed s Mission to focus solely on inflation. The fed has traditionally managed a dual mandate to keep both inflation and unemplo3rment Low. Joseph Gagnon a former fed official who is now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International economics said he doubts the Effort will go anywhere. Quot this is More about playing to the Peanut gallery in the Republican party than actually doing anything quot he said. Stanford University s John Taylor a critic of the fed s handling of the financial crisis and recession said there s nothing wrong with Bernanke s going Public to explain his policies. But past chairmen have tended to speak obscurely and infrequently. Quot too much talking and explaining has diminishing returns quot Taylor said. Quot it tends to Muddy the jobless. A continued from Page 1 quot if they allow it to expire now it s the highest it s Ever been quot Price said Friday. The National unemployment rate was 9.6 percent in october. In Pennsylvania it was 8.8 percent last month Down from a Quarter Century High of 9.3 percent in july. The 99-week Benefit is longer than any other offered previously according to the National employ Ament Law project. The longest prior period of Federal unemployment Benefit extensions was 65 weeks in the mid-1970s, the new York based organization said. An Extension vote in Congress before thanksgiving is a Likely. A spokesman for . Sen. Bob Casey said Friday that the Democrat is working to assemble support in the Senate to vote for a one year Extension before the end of november. On thursday a Bill to extend benefits for three months failed in the House. Democrats brought the Bill to the floor on a fast track that requires support by a two thirds majority to pass. It failed despite winning a 258-154 majority. Most republicans opposed the legislation because they argued that the Cost of the benefits should be offset by spending cuts so that it does not add to the deficit. Among Pennsylvania s 19-member delegation in the House All 12 democrats and four republicans a Charlie Dent Jim Gerlach tim Murphy and Todd Platts a voted in favor while it was opposed by republicans Joseph Pitts Bill Shuster and Glenn Thompson. For now the number of people who Are receiving the weekly Benefit in Pennsylvania is dropping from just above 400,000 in june to just above 300,000 in october As fewer Are being Laid off quot and More people exhaust their benefits. Still jobs Are hard to find for Many. Two in five of the unemployed have been without a Job for six months or More according to the Federal Bureau of labor statistics. Following the recession that began in december 2007, Pennsylvania recorded a Low of just under 5.55 million non farm jobs in february its lowest in More than a decade. Employers have since added about 70,000 jobs but that s still 200,000 below an All time High of 5.82 million jobs in april 2008. New zealand mine explodes Wellington new zealand apr an explosion ripped through one of new zealand s largest Coal mines Friday while dozens of workers were underground. Five of them dazed and slightly injured st tumbled to the surface hours later and 27 were missing officials said. Police said that shortly before the blast the electricity went out in the mine which May have caused ventilation problems. That May have contributed to a buildup of Gas underground. Rescue teams were waiting for word that the mine was Safe to enter. The explosion was powerful enough to blow one Driver off his machine deep in a Tunnel and a mine safety expert said Gas was a possible cause of the blast although police spokes woman Barbara Dunn and the mine s operator stressed it was too Early to say Why it occurred. Television footage showed blackened and singed Trees and Light smoke billowing from the top of a Mountain where a 360-foot 110-meter Long ventilation Shaft emerges. A nearby hut had been blown Down suggesting a powerful blast had shot up the Shaft from deep in the mine. Rescue teams and emergency workers rushed by helicopter and by Road to the mine located in Remote and rugged mountains near the town of Aarau on new zealand s South Island. Tv3 news reported they were taking air samples in the ventilation Shaft to Check whether there was a buildup of poisonous or explosive Gas and if it was Safe to go in. Those twisty curvy Cal bulbs use 75% less electricity than incandescent and last up to 10 times longer. So switching to Energy efficient Cal bulbs is an easy Way to help you control the size of your electric Bill. And Allegheny Power has More rebates and tips to help everyone conserve Energy. To learn More ways to save visit the Watt watchers Section of or Call 1-877-928-8928. We to use Hengy else to. Rate Caps Are set to expire on december 31,2010, and your electric Bill will Likely increase. Take Steps now to conserve electricity before rates go up. A Allegheny Power an Tuegh iii Eneix company
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