In This Issue:
Leading the Past Week; Legislative Branch; Executive Branch; Miscellaneous; and Upcoming Hearings.
Excerpt from Leading the Past Week -
Even though the Senate sent a debt limit extension to the President’s desk, eliminating one potential threat – at least temporarily – to the nation’s economic health, this past week saw a seesaw of news items concerning the broader health of the economy. News that the U.S. economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, augmented concerns about how the sequester, which by many accounts appears to moving full steam ahead to go into effect in March, will impact the economy. On the jobs front, the January numbers came in around expectation, at 157,000, and the December numbers were revised upward. However, unemployment remained steady at 7.8%, and so it came as bit of a surprise that the White House confirmed that the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness will shut down. All of this coming against a backdrop of the Federal Reserve announcing it will continue its accommodative monetary policies and efforts to stimulate the economy. The Fed said it will continue its bond-buying as part of plan to lower interest rates and keep the federal funds rate low as long as unemployment remains above 6.5 percent.
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