A majority of Federal Reserve policymakers want to continue extraordinary bond purchases to help boost the U.S. economy at least through the middle of the year, according to minutes from the Feds last meeting released Wednesday.
But many members indicated they want to slow and eventually end the program before the end of the year, as long as the job market and economy show sustained improvement.
The Feds purchases of about $85 billion a month in Treasury and mortgage bonds are intended to lower long-term interest rates and encourage more borrowing and spending.
The minutes of the Feds March 19-20 meeting were released at 9 a.m. EDT – five hours earlier than planned – after the Fed inadvertently sent them a day earlier to congressional staffers and lobbyists.
AT&T boosts speed on local wireless network
AT&T plans to roll out 4G LTE in Fort Wayne this summer, bringing customers the latest generation of wireless network technology and zippy mobile Internet.
Fort Wayne enjoys AT&Ts fast 4G speeds today as part of the nations largest 4G network, and our teams will be working hard across the city toward our upcoming 4G LTE launch, said George S. Fleetwood, president of AT&T Indiana. AT&T customers in Fort Wayne can look forward to even faster speeds by the end of the summer on our leading lineup of smartphones, tablets and other devices.
AT&Ts 4G Network covers 288 million people nationally. The company declined to say how many customers it covers locally.
The Dallas-based company has invested more than $1.3 billion in its Indiana wireless and wireline networks from 2010 through 2012.
Ohio firms eligible for weather relief
Small businesses in nine western Ohio counties have until May 6 to apply for loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration to offset losses from heat, frost, freezes and drought that began Feb. 1, 2012, according to Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
Affected counties include Defiance, Mercer, Van Wert and Williams.
For information, call the SBAs Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (or 800-877-8339 for the hard-of-hearing) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Loan applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov.
GM exec reaffirms commitment to Opel
General Motors top executives have reaffirmed their commitment to Opel, the U.S. auto groups loss-making European subsidiary, promising to invest an additional $5.2 billion in the company.
GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said Wednesday that GM was fully supportive of the Opel turnaround plan and that the Detroit-based group must have a strong presence in Europe and especially here in Germany.
Akerson added that GM had approved a large investment in Europe by 2016 but did not announce any new plant closures or other specific measures to improve earnings.
The chief executive and the GM board of directors had traveled to Germany to discuss the companys plan to reverse years of losses.
GM had tried to sell Opel in 2009 as the U.S. car giant headed into bankruptcy restructuring – but it later decided to keep it.