UPDATED: Feb 25, 2020
We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Budget Committee today and urged Congress to implement a fiscal stimulus package as quickly as possible to help boost consumer spending. The overall goal of such a move would be to ward off a potential recession, which some economists insist the U.S. economy is heading toward or already in. Chairman Bernanke maintains that while the economy is indeed in a slump, he does not believe it will fall into a recession.
One potential stimulus package would include a series of tax cuts as well as increased funding for unemployment benefits. Projected ranges for such a program are $50 billion to $75 billion. Chairman Bernanke also encouraged Congress to ensure any stimulus package it enacts is on a temporary basis.
It is also widely anticipated the central bank will cut the federal funds rate by one-half a percentage point at its next meeting on January 30. Such a cut would put the rate at 3.75 percent, the lowest level in nearly two and a half years. The federal funds rate is an overnight bank lending rate that affects rates on various types of loans such as variable-rate mortgages and credit card rates, among others. The rate may also impact rates on various investment and insurance products offered by life insurance companies.