- - Thursday, February 3, 2011

FEDERAL RESERVE

Bernanke says jobs needed for recovery

The nation can’t fully recover from the worst recession in decades until hiring improves, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Thursday.

The economy is strengthening and likely will grow at a faster pace this year as more confident consumers and companies spend more, Mr. Bernanke said in a speech to the National Press Club. But he warned that growth won’t be strong enough to drive down the unemployment rate quickly.

“Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said.

His remarks suggest the Fed will stick with its program to prime the economy by purchasing $600 billion of Treasury bonds by the end of June.

The Fed chief also issued a stern warning to Congress and the White House to come up with a plan to reduce the government’s bloated budget deficits. He also told Congress not to play political games with the Treasury Department’s request to boost the government’s borrowing authority beyond the current $14.3 trillion statutory cap.

HOUSE

Finance panel member files for bankruptcy

An eight-term congressman who serves on the House Financial Services Committee has filed for personal bankruptcy and is blaming his family meat company for his problems.

According to federal bankruptcy court documents, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Texas Democrat, has $2.9 million in liabilities, though he also has nearly $1.5 million in assets.

Most of the money Mr. Hinojosa owes - $2.6 million - is a claim by Wells Fargo Bank. The congressman said it is a result of a loan he personally guaranteed for the H&H Meat Products Co., which went bankrupt.

The Financial Services panel has jurisdiction over legislation affecting banks. House aides and outside analysts say the House has no rules forbidding a lawmaker who owes large sums to a bank from serving on that committee.

TREASURY

Thousands erred in tax credit for electric cars

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