- - Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FEDERAL RESERVE

Bernanke: Crisis taught lesson for central banks

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke says a key lesson learned from the 2008 financial crisis is that central banks must have a dual goal of controlling inflation while supporting the banking system.

Mr. Bernanke said Tuesday during a speech in Boston that the steps the Fed took during the crisis proved to be successful. The Fed lowered short-term interest rates to record lows and expanded its portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities to push long-term rates lower.

The Fed has been criticized by those who say keeping rates too low for too long could fuel inflation later.

In September, the Fed voted to shift $400 billion of its investments to try to lower long-term interest rates. That followed the Fed’s announcement in August that it planned to keep short-term rates at record lows until at least mid-2013, assuming the economy remains weak.

Both steps were approved on 7-3 votes. That represented the highest level of dissent at the Fed in nearly 20 years.

BRITAIN

Inflation reaches highest rate in 3 years

LONDON — Britain’s inflation rate jumped to a three-year high of 5.2 percent in September, a more than expected increase driven by rising costs for electricity and gas, data showed Tuesday.

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said he believed inflation was at or near its peak after 22 months of overshooting the official target of 2 percent.

The consumer price inflation rate announced by the Office for National Statistics was a big jump from the 4.5 percent reported a month earlier and beat the market consensus of 4.9 percent.

CHINA

Order for Boeing 787s canceled due to delays

Boeing lost a major customer for its new 787 on Tuesday, with China Eastern Airlines canceling its order for 24 of the long-delayed planes after saying it has waited long enough.

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